Updated: Statements on DC, MD, VA COVID-19 Response

Statement on March 23:

Widespread Business Closures in DC, MD, and VA Protect Public Health but Require Bold Economic Remedies, says Greater Washington Board of Trade

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Governments in Virginia, Maryland, and the District have required that all nonessential public spaces, from restaurants to hair salons to gyms, be closed to help quell the COVID-19 pandemic. This necessitates extreme measures to keep local businesses afloat and prepare for an accelerated recovery says the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the D.C. area’s oldest business organization.

Following is a statement from Jack McDougle, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Board of Trade:

“Mayor Bowser and Governors Northam and Hogan are navigating very difficult decisions in order to protect the public’s health and safety. They need our support. Experts have been clear that extreme social distancing is our best hope for getting COVID-19 under control.

At the same time, we must do everything possible to mitigate the economic fallout. Now is the time for lawmakers and business leaders everywhere to think and act big. Governments at all levels must use every tool at their disposal to keep businesses and households afloat while so much of the economy is shut down. Businesses also must push their ingenuity to discover new ways to serve their communities and customers while supporting and protecting their workers. This situation is entirely unprecedented and we must unite as a region to overcome these many challenges.”


Statement on March 19:

Board of Trade Supports Bold Actions to Aid Businesses and Slow the Spread of COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Greater Washington Board of Trade, which represents more than 300 organizations across all sectors throughout the District, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia, supports government and business leaders’ bold actions to slow the spread of COVID-19. We also call for the continuation of significant measures that are essential to blunt economic impacts, such as the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 which passed in the District. This and other critical actions are needed to support suffering businesses.

This unprecedented crisis is affecting each of our industries, small and large businesses, and all categories of workers. The extraordinary measures taken by government officials seek to “flatten the curve” of virus case growth so that adequate healthcare can be provided to avoid a public health calamity. Our region is fortunate to have an amazing medical community focused on caring for our residents.

Still, the economic consequences of these decisions are felt harshly across the region, especially for hourly and tipped workers who are losing their incomes overnight, and small businesses dependent on daily revenues. Government and business leaders must further deliver innovative solutions to meet current needs while preparing for an economic recovery.

“These were tough decisions for Mayor Bowser and Governors Hogan and Northam resulting in immediate business and economic hardships,” said Jack McDougle, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. “No leader wants to disrupt daily life and close doors for local businesses. It’s important that we all work together to protect the public health of our residents and workforce, and similarly important to proactively address the huge economic impacts affecting our region.”

For most leaders in the Greater Washington region, the COVID-19 situation is new territory—a challenge with far-reaching consequences. What we know from the 2018-2019 government shutdown, which also created widespread financial instability, is that our resilience stems from our ingenuity, generosity, and compassion. By working together, we can avert a public health disaster while protecting businesses, workers, and their families.


About the Greater Washington Board of Trade

The Greater Washington Board of Trade is a nonpartisan business organization and has represented all industry sectors in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia since 1889. The Board of Trade works collaboratively to advance polices, practices, and actions that benefit its members and improve the business environment and quality of life across the region. Learn more at www.bot.org.

Media Contact

Lindsey Longendyke
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