SAN FRANCISCO - California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he plans to outline on Tuesday what it would take to ease his stay-at-home orders, which can't come a moment too soon for a majority of Bay Area businesses who say they wish they can return to work in the next 30 days.
The Bay Area Council released a survey on Tuesday showing that while businesses say they are largely in agreement with actions taken to date in response to COVID-19, 71 percent of the businesses questioned think shelter-in-place orders should be lifted in the next 30 days, including 26 percent who want to see an end to the orders in the next two weeks.
Of the 178 businesses surveyed, 60 percent told the Bay Area Council that they have already laid off workers or will be forced to lay off workers under shelter-in-place orders.
The results come as officials in six Bay Area counties announced this week they are extending current shelter-in-place orders through the end of May from an initial deadline of May 3.
"Many lives have been saved. But, employers are reaching a tipping point in their ability to withstand the severe economic effects of the shutdown,” said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “Public health and defeating COVID-19 must be a top priority, but we also need a clear plan for how we can begin responsibly to reopen the economy in phases over the coming weeks and months."
Wunderman added: "As we continue to make progress in battling COVID-19 we must make similar progress in restarting our economy and getting people back to work.”
It's unclear exactly what Newsom will say on Tuesday regarding the reopening of businesses.
But at his news conference on Monday, the governor said the state is “a few weeks away, not months away” from making “meaningful changes” in the order. It was his most optimistic timeline yet, though he didn’t specify what “meaningful” meant.
Newsom indicated he will consider different needs based on the types of businesses and where they are located.
Boarded up storefront in San Francisco because of the shelter-in-place orders.
A 'Sorry, We're Closed Sign," hangs in San Francisco because of the shelter-in-place orders.