Speaking on WWL First News with Tommy Tucker, Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce President Todd Murphy discussed reopening the economy with respect to the pandemic and the regulations it puts on society.
“We’ve got to balance public health and economic health. I think we really need to start thinking about ‘how can we do XYZ, rather than how can’t we?’”
Murphy says the Jefferson Parish Council voting Monday to reopen bars, if the COVID-19 numbers met the Governors regulations was a stroke of genius.
He says the Council knew the numbers would come back within means and it also signaled to bar and tavern owners early enough for them to get their businesses ready to open ahead of a big football fueled weekend.
“I think its imperative that we don’t take the position of ‘let’s wait and see what happens’ and let’s just keep putting in regulations,” Murphy says.
“We have to look and we have to call upon our elected leaders, our business leaders, our civic leaders, and our business owners to say ‘how do we, as visionaries, move this forward safely and how do we balance our public health and bring this great city and region back?’” Murphy explains.
Murphy maintains the New Orleans region is the economic driver for the state. “This region needs to comeback and we can’t just sit on our hands and see what happens,” Murphy states.
Discussing with Tucker about the state of banking and loans, Murphy says that side of the business is roaring.
With low interest rates, the home loan and refinancing industry is taking off and performing astronomically.
However, businesses and business owners are looking for banks for relief in the form of deferred payments, deferred interest penalties and the like.
“Business owners are saying ‘I did not write a business plan to operate on 25-or-50% capacity. I can’t figure out how to make these numbers work,” Murphy says.
Factoring in rent, insurance and labor it’s very difficult to get by on 25, 50, or 75% capacity according to Murphy.
Murphy says business owners, particularly in hospitality, food, beverage, and entertainment “Keep going to big-brother [banks] for as much help as you can.”