Susan’s Letter to Governor Wolf

Sent on May 4, 2020

Governor Wolf,

As you know, Venango County is among those counties in the state with the lowest confirmed cases of Covid-19. I respectfully suggest that this is not luck, but as a result of the responsible compliance of our residents and our business community to the recommendations of you and healthcare professionals.

We are beyond pleased that in less than a week we will begin to open the majority of our businesses. We are, however, very frustrated at the lack of guidance and list of businesses that are not included on openings. Among them are our salons, massage studios, yoga studios and gyms. These businesses provide important services to our wellbeing. They are highly regulated for cleanliness and safely and have proven to place the highest priority on customers’ mental, emotional and physical health, all that have been greatly compromised over the past eight weeks. I have complete trust that any of the Venango County businesses in these excluded categories, and others I have not named, will comply with all directives of the CDC and will wisely make the choice not to open if they cannot promise customer and employee safety.

I urge you to not put our businesses in a position of deciding between non-compliance or closing their doors and businesses for good. As it is, business owners must navigate the difficult decision of when it is safe to open and when our community will support opening.  The threats of losing a license, being fined or even arrested are unnecessary and unreasonable, at this already difficult time.

I also strongly encourage you to allow more discretion at county level, but in absence of that, to provide better direction to our businesses, based on quantifiable data.

I understand that you, along with leaders at all levels, are in uncharted waters. Collaboration and transparency from you is critical to leading all Pennsylvania businesses on a road to recovery.

Susan Williams
President/CEO, Venango Area Chamber of Commerce

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