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LETTER ON 3/19: From Tom Baldrige, President & CEO of the Lancaster Chamber

Impact & Advocacy , Events & Programs , Local Stories , Chamber Updates
March 19 2020

BELOW LETTER IS NOW UPDATED WITH IMPORTANT APPEAL INFORMATION AS OF 9:51PM ON 3/19. WE ALSO WANT TO NOTE THAT TAKEOUT AT YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT IS NOT IMPACTED BY THIS NEW ORDER. 

First and foremost, I hope you are all following appropriate guidelines to ensure your own personal health. As challenging as this crisis is, you and your family’s continued good health remains the most important to us and our entire community.

Second, I want to acknowledge the obvious:  this crisis is unprecedented, challenging and, for many, devastating. My thoughts go out to all of you as you and your staffs' struggle to find your way forward. 

As I am writing this, we just received word from Governor Tom Wolf regarding the closure of non-life-sustaining businesses. You can see his order here and access the comprehensive list of businesses/industries here.

Since we’ve heard from so many of you that you’ve set up remote operations, I also wanted to make sure you are aware of the following paragraph from the Governor’s order: 

No person or entity shall operate a place of business in the Commonwealth that is not a life sustaining business regardless of whether the business is open to members of the public. This prohibition does not apply to virtual or telework operations (e.g., work from home), so long as social distancing and other mitigation measures are followed in such operations.

Any business that would like to seek a waiver from this order can email RA-dcexemption@pa.gov.

In addition, if businesses need to know whether they should close they can contact the Administration at ra-dcedcs@pa.gov.

Enforcement actions for non-compliance of the above provisions will begin on Saturday, March 21 at 12:01am. Please note that takeout at your favorite restaurant is not impacted by this change in policy.

As we work as a business community to continue to manage this crisis, the Chamber staff is committed to doing all we can to walk along side you by providing information and resources, relevant programming and a voice for your concerns to our elected officials at all levels of government.  I invite you to take full advantage of our services and resources, all of which are highlighted on our website: www.lancasterchamber.com/coronavirus.

With the pace of change being incredibly fast, I find that these emails are dated the moment we hit “send,” yet we are committed to try to sort through all the news and lift up some particular points of interest and opportunity. Some of the latest developments include:

-Earlier this week, the Chamber, in partnership with the Central Penn Business Group on Health, hosted an “Ask-an-Attorney” webinar wherein close to 400 people received free counsel on issues of concern regarding business and the workplace.  You can listen to the entire webinar here (password to access webinar is kY5XGd6f). We will be having another webinar on this topic next Wednesday, March 25 from 11am-Noon. Register for that here. 

-Please know that today Lancaster Careerlink launched a new call center that will have two distinct features: First feature is for individuals who have been displaced and who are looking for temporary work, please call 1-844-744-8451. Second feature is for businesses that have immediate needs for workers, please call 717-584-4932. For complete information access their website here.

-We continue to build robust resources for small-businesses and nonprofits that you can also access at www.lancasterchamber.com/coronavirus

-As part of our ongoing effort to keep open communination with elected officials, today we participated on a call with Senator Pat Toomey who provided us with an update on the federal legislation. You can hear that town hall meeting here.

-And finally, please know that starting tomorrow the Lancaster Chamber, in cooperation with the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, will be calling every Member to assess your individual situation and make you aware of any resources that may be particularly relevant to your circumstance. 

We are committed to staying in touch and appreciate any feedback you care to offer. 
Again, stay safe, be strong, and together we will get through this. 

-Lancaster Chamber President & CEO Tom Baldrige

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