Handful of SC state lawmakers urging governor to reopen non-essential businesses

State - Regional

UNION, S.C. (WSPA) – Opening back up. A handful of South Carolina lawmakers are urging the governor to do just that. They’re worried that the impact this shutdown is having on the economy, could be worse than the virus. But some local business told us they’re willing to wait.

It has become the unexpected norm for Joshua Meadows, an empty shop. He just opened his business about two months ago but his endeavor was quickly cut short.

“I put my life savings, everything I had into opening. I opened in February and was doing really, really well and this came out of nowhere,” said INKclusive Tattoo Studio Owner/Artist, Joshua Meadows.

He told us he decided to close before an order from the governor was issued, to keep his customers safe. He said he’s waiting on the green light from medical professionals to open back up.

But some lawmakers want that to happen sooner rather than later.

“I know there is a lot of people hurting out there right now. I have spent a lot of time on the phone, helping constituents recently, filing for unemployment,” said South Carolina State Representative, Stewart Jones.

They’re asking the governor to explore options for non-essential businesses to reopen while also still social distancing and limiting the number of people inside.

“We are fighting to reopen the market because we, ultimately the problem here is mass poverty can do far more harm than this virus could,” Jones said.

However emergency physician Dr. Christian Montagano with EmergencyMD told 7 News self isolating and social distancing is working. In fact he said the curve is flattening.

“From a reducing infection standpoint, social distancing is working but then there’s always that fine line balance of when is the right time to reopen businesses,” said Dr. Christian Montagano with EmergencyMD.

DHEC has previously stated they could see a couple thousand more cases in South Carolina by early May.

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