Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Business Recovery Task Force reaches out to New Mexico Governor

CLOVIS (KSMX)- The Clovis Economic Development (CIDC) and the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce’s new Business Recovery Task Force met to develop a business recovery plan.

In conjunction with local government efforts, the task force was created to support and advocate for local businesses in crisis due to COVID-19.

Earlier today, April 21, a task force sub-committee formulated a letter to Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham, outlining the extreme vulnerability of local businesses.

“There seem to be two main responses from people,” explained Greg Southard, president of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce. “If you’re out there working – virtually or in public – you’re mostly concerned about safety. If your business is closed or you’re not working, you’re concerned about survival.”

The following information was sent to the Office of Lujan Grisham:

Dear Governor Lujan Grisham,

We are writing to alert you to the small business emergency that Clovis/Curry County is facing due to the COVID-19 public health orders (currently in place through the end of April 2020).

First, we’d like to thank you for your decisive leadership during this global public health emergency, as well as for your education of New Mexicans in flattening the curve to protect the integrity of our health care system. Unfortunately, the closure of “non-essential” businesses has dealt a detrimental blow to our local economy and many of our small businesses face permanent closure if the current restrictions extend into May.

Clovis Economic Development (CIDC) and the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce represents more than 600 businesses in this area and our Business Recovery Task Force has been actively monitoring the effects of COVID-19. We have felt the pulse of our vital local business community slowing and it is clear that we will not survive without your help.

Serving as a unified voice for those 600+ businesses, we respectfully ask you to consider an immediate modification of the public health order to restore functioning parts of our local economy that do not endanger public health.

As you are aware, the national average budget reserve for small businesses is 30 days – and that number is even lower for the majority of small businesses in Clovis/Curry County. All of our businesses are essential to this small, rural community and we implore you to consider allowing them to re-open under the same guidelines as big-box stores. Many of our businesses are asking to receive the same trust we have placed in “essential” businesses to create a safe work environment that meets all health guidelines to protect their employees, customers and themselves.

A sub-committee of our Business Recovery Task Force has been dedicated solely to ensuring the preparedness of our local businesses to guarantee their ability to re-open, if given that chance, in accordance to health guidelines.

It is worth noting that there have been no new positive cases of COVID-19 in Clovis/Curry County within the past two weeks.

Our total count is 10 out of a population of 48,500 with no one in the hospital and no deaths – although our hospital director has publicly stated they are prepared if the need arises. In general, our rural location (the closest major airport is 100 miles away) is ideal for limiting outside exposure.

It is imperative that Clovis/Curry County businesses be allowed to re-open their doors while implementing necessary safeguards. Failure to do so will likely cripple our tight-knit, rural community. Please help Clovis/Curry County survive this unprecedented economic disaster.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter. We look forward to hearing from you.

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