In A Flash

Louisiana Association of Business and Industry urges residents to follow COVID-19 safety precautions, avoid another shutdown

By: - August 3, 2021 8:02 pm
A surgical mask and an N95 mask hang on display for sale at a pharmacy. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

A surgical mask and an N95 mask hang on display for sale at a pharmacy. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the state’s largest business organization, urged Louisianians to follow Gov. Edwards’ COVID-19 guidelines in a Tuesday press release, saying the economy is “too fragile” to take another shutdown.

LABI President and CEO Stephen Waguespack encouraged vaccinations, saying with increasing COVID-19 cases and students returning to schools and colleges, everyone should take the shot and also implement the safety measures laid out in Edwards’ Monday executive order. 

According to Waguespack, the rate of statewide unemployment is currently 2.5% higher than it was before the pandemic started, and 160,000 jobs have been lost. With businesses struggling with workforce shortages and disrupted supply chains, Waguespack said residents needed to take the surge in cases seriously so another shutdown could be avoided. 

“Small businesses, especially those in hospitality and retail, make up the backbone of our economy and can’t afford to close their doors again. The shutdown-style approach tried across the country last year should not be repeated,” Waguespack said in a statement. “We stand ready to work with our elected leaders to prioritize creative and effective efforts that address the shared goals of protecting public health and saving our battered economy, rather than pitting them against each other.”

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Rachel Mipro
Rachel Mipro

Rachel Mipro is a contributing reporter to the Illuminator. She has previous experience at WBRZ and The Reveille and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Louisiana State University. At LSU, she worked as an opinion editor for The Reveille and as a nonfiction editor for the university’s creative writing journal. In her free time, she enjoys baking, Netflix and hiking.