A Letter to Governor Wolf

Chamber News

Dear Governor Wolf:

Urgent action is needed!

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is the largest business association in Northeast Pennsylvania representing 1,400 plus members, a great number of which are operating in sectors that have been most dramatically disrupted by COVID-19. Restaurants, taverns, gyms, retail and others in the entertainment, travel and hospitality sectors have borne added costs related to health and safety measures, and weathered shutdowns and operating restrictions that have cost them patrons, employees and the revenue needed just to stay afloat.

While various levels of health, safety and financial assistance, and the mild summer and early fall weather were beneficial to many, the renewed restrictions announced by the Governor on December 10th represent another, perhaps fatal blow to the businesses in these sectors. Indeed, many have not made it this far, and for others this will signal the end.

While we respect the necessity of certain restrictions based on the input of health care leaders across the Commonwealth, such blanket pronouncements regarding targeted sectors fail to recognize that many affected small business owners in Lackawanna County and throughout our region have implemented safety measures and operational protocols that would allow them to remain open safely. Further, the timing of the action, with little notice, in the heart of the holiday season – which for many is their historically most profitable time will have an even more profound negative impact.

If a reversal or softening of the administrative orders is not forthcoming, then it is incumbent upon the Governor and the General Assembly to act immediately – with or without federal support, to provide these businesses and their employees with financial assistance to get them through this period.

It is past the time that all elected officials in the Commonwealth stand together for the health and safety of our citizens and the sustainability of our small business infrastructure.

The challenge ahead is one that can only be overcome with the cooperation and assistance of everyone.

Sincerely,

Patrick Fricchione, Jr.
Chair of the Board
Robert Durkin
President & CEO