What Big Business Thinks “Opening The Economy” Will Look Like

On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, the Business Roundtable presented a principles-based framework on how to re-open the economy to Vice President Pence and senior White House staff. The Business Roundtable is composed exclusively of CEOs of the major U.S. corporations. In light of the establishment of the “Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups” by the White House, many commentators expect the policy recommendations of these CEOs to track those delivered by the Business Roundtable.

The approach outlined by the Business Roundtable contemplates a partnership among federal, state and local authorities with input from public health officials and private businesses. In an effort to carve out roles for both the federal government and local governments, they have asked for federal guidelines to help define public health criteria around risk levels, which would assist state and local governments in lifting restrictions, with the following suggested:

The Business Roundtable also suggested that the federal government issue national guidelines, implemented by states, outlining appropriate safety measures for workers and consumers. Local and state governments would continue to be on the front line coordinating with businesses and health care providers. The Business Roundtable also provides illustrative examples on how these risk levels can inform different restrictions being lifted geographically.

State leaders (e.g., Governor Newsom’s roadmap, Governor Cuomo’s phased opening and Governor Murphy’s “new normal”) are beginning to frame these same issues for their constituents as well.