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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber. 0000017b-d583-d84a-afff-fdd77fc70000Local support for Let's Talk Business comes from First Midwest Bank -- offering banking solutions for all stages of life. Online at onemidwest.com. Member FDIC.

Let's Talk Business: COVID-19 Brings Challenges for Business Community and General Public

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As Missouri continues the Governor’s Show Me Strong Recovery Plan, challenges emerge for the business community and the general public.

This is a difficult time for local businesses. People are so divided on the virus, the spread, the threats, the perceptions, and what our personal responsibilities should be today and moving forward. This has become a very political issue and opinions are getting more deeply entrenched every day.

Certainly, I will not change anyone’s views with this message and I won’t even try. But I will lay out some facts about our local area as we move into Monday, July 6th.

Our case counts are up substantially but remain below Missouri averages. Our deaths are stable and well below those averages as well. However, our hospitalizations are on the rise and higher than they have been at any time. Every one of us draws our own conclusions about these numbers and more. Whether to mask up or not seems to be one of the biggest points of contention.

But it is really starting to hit home in the local business community. Several restaurants have had to close for a period of time with employees in quarantine. And now several other professional businesses are dealing with their first employee cases and also closing to the public and placing employees in quarantine. No one wants this to happen.

As we celebrate the independence of our country, please take personal responsibility.

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