About two dozen local business owners and politicians gathered at Hannah Flanagan’s Pub on Tuesday morning in a Republican Party-orchestrated event to air grievances about the state’s business restrictions in the coronavirus pandemic. Michael Whatley, chairman of the N.C. Republican Party, is hosting the traveling road show across the state to discuss the impacts of Covid-19 and its impact on small businesses in the area.
The business leaders represented real estate, construction, gyms, summer camps, agriculture, restaurants, bars and more. City, county and state officials were also present, including state Sen. Chuck Edwards and Rep. Chuck McGrady.
Multiple attendees spoke of forming plans to reopen in May only to have a new order extend restrictions. The politicization of the virus came up often throughout the meeting. Attendees said the upcoming elections were affecting the Cooper’s actions in regards to COVID-19.
“This should not be about politics,” Edwards said. “This should be about getting people back to work.”
Hendersonville City Council member Jennifer Hensley described the executive orders and shutdown as a “slow trickle and chipping away, of enforcement of things the government shouldn’t be a part of.”
Many business owners acknowledged the threat of the virus, but wished to reopen and reduce economic impacts. Discussion also touched on how schools are being affected by the Governor’s orders.