Katie Boyd Britt shares the “why” behind the Keep Alabama Open Program
Katie Boyd Britt is the President and CEO of the BCA
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - In March of 2020 all Alabama businesses that were not considered as “essential” were forced to close their doors due to the spread of COVID-19. Those that remained open had to quickly adapt, for instance, restaurants closing their dining rooms and offering to go orders only. Some of those businesses that were forced to close were not able to open their doors back up due to the financial loss.
President and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, Katie Boyd Britt, said the BCA has fought hard to ensure this would not happen again, really pushing forward when launching the “Keep Alabama Open Program” in November of last year.
“To make sure people’s freedom and liberty was protected, you know to make sure that our small businesses across the state you know had the opportunity to earn a living, had the opportunity to employ people so that they could provide for their families and the community could flourish,” Britt said.
Britt said there is always a ripple effect in businesses facing challenges during the pandemic, even today.
“We’ve worked hard to make sure through the cares act dollars that came down under president trump that we made sure that we fought to put that money in small businesses hands so that you see the revive and revive plus grants,” Britt said.
The BCA continues working to get people back into the workforce, safely.
“Unfortunately, the way that the unemployment was structured, it incentivized people to stay home,” Britt said. “We have to incentivize people to get back up and get back to work because that is how we are going to move people and products around our state safely and effectively.”
In addition to fighting for Alabama businesses, Britt said it is also important that children are back in the classroom. She said this is vital to not only a child’s wellbeing, but to the community thriving.
“There have been so many children that, unfortunately child abuse cases, that have gone unreported because they weren’t in the classroom, there are instructional gaps, that you know, will take a long time to be closed, there are children who the only two meals they get in a day are when they are in the school setting,” Britt said.
Britt said it is imperative for the state to keep moving forward and the future is bright for Alabama businesses.
“We have so many exciting things in Alabama, I say continuously, we don’t do a good enough job telling our story because if you look from the Shoals, to the Wiregrass to Scottsboro to Mobile, we have got exciting things that are happening and there is a lot of energy and opportunity in our state,” Britt said.
It has been a long year, as COVID-19 case numbers are declining, Britt said the BCA continues to fight to make sure Alabama can keep its doors open.
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