LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Greater Louisville Incorporated, Louisville’s chamber of commerce, is calling the plans to reopen Kentucky and Indiana ‘disjointed’, calling on the two governors to better coordinate.
The group said having Indiana businesses able to open before Kentucky will hurt our bi-state economy we have worked so hard to build.
Governor Eric Holcomb is allowing retail stores to open at 50-percent capacity this week, phase two in the five-stage “Back on Track Indiana” plan, lifting COVID-19 restrictions almost entirely by July.
This phase is two weeks ahead of Kentucky’s “Healthy at Work” plan when it comes to retail stores and even further ahead when it comes to restaurants, bars and larger private gatherings.
“You’re never going to get us to be 100 percent in alignment on 100 percent of the issues in all the different sectors,” Holcomb said Monday.
Holcomb said he believes this plan weighs the needs of businesses operating on both sides of the river.
Governor Andy Beshear is still eyeing May 20 for retail to reopen and is worried Indiana is moving too fast.
“I think less about the competitive disadvantage because we’re maybe a couple weeks behind and more about the health risk that may be imposed,” Beshear said.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer agrees.
“Don’t rush to places like restaurants and malls until we can do it together,” Fischer said. “We can’t just be hoping we’re lucky. Science isn’t about luck.”
Beshear and Holcomb both say they’ve been communicating about the steps they believe are best for their states, even though they aren’t lining up.
“Let’s not drive to other states because they’re doing something earlier, if we think we have done it better,” Beshear said.
But Greater Louisville Inc. is saying this shouldn’t have been the case.
“I think it’s important as a bi-state community we can’t tell people to stay on one side of the bridge,” GLI President and CEO Sarah Davasher-Wisdom said.
GLI submitted recommendations and was optimistic after the two governors announced they were joining a seven-state group working together to re-open the Midwestern economy.
“We were under the impression that there would be a coordinated timeline that aligned,” Davasher-Wisdom said. “We have businesses in our region that really have no concept on when they can reopen, like restaurants.”
Now the group is calling the reopening effort disjointed and asking both governors to try and better coordinate even though the plans only differ by a matter of weeks.
“We’re not saying one state is right or wrong, we’re simply saying that we need to be coordinated,” Davasher-Wisdom said.