It could be worse.
This is the consensus among business leaders on Governor Steve Sisolak’s decision to extend the nationwide hiatus to January 15 to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Although the hiatus was devastating for businesses, most business leaders said they were grateful the governor didn’t order additional restrictions and closings, even as infection rates rise.
“Shutting down businesses like other states would be a death blow,” said Cara Clarke, a spokeswoman for the Vegas Chamber.
Peter Guzman, president of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, said Sisolak’s decision not to impose further restrictions gives companies “a fighting chance to keep their doors open”.
Open businesses mean people work, and that means “people can buy Christmas gifts and have a kind of Christmas and Christmas season,” he said.
Ken Evans, president of the city’s Chamber of Commerce, said companies are “thin” with 25 percent capacity, but “we try to avoid a full shutdown as safely as possible.”
Thoran Towler, CEO of the Nevada Association of Employers, said he was nervous about what the governor would announce with the news of rising COVID-19 infections and rising death rates.
“Extending the current restrictions is difficult for so many small businesses and their workers, but I realize it could be a lot worse,” said Towler. “Many of the companies I work with are afraid that the governor will shut down some entire industries or districts, like California recently did.”
Randi Thompson, director of the National Federation of Independent Business in Nevada, criticized the governor.
“I was very upset to see that we put these restrictions in place and they make no difference,” she said. “Opening up our economies and telling those to stay home to stay home works in other states. Why don’t we look to other states keeping their economies working, but protect those who are most vulnerable? That should be our focus. “
Tourism and games
Extending the break is “a mixed bag” for the gaming industry, said Brendan Bussmann, director of government affairs for Global Market Advisors in Las Vegas. While there are no other restrictions, the current restrictions are harming casino operators.
“The industry continues to lead because it is the most regulated in the state but faces some of the toughest restrictions,” he said.
In the meantime, those responsible for games and tourism reacted positively to the announcement.
“The health and safety of our guests, visitors and roommates continues to be a top priority for the resort industry,” said Virginia Valentine, president and CEO of the Nevada Resort Association. “We understand the difficulty of the situation and appreciate the governor’s balanced approach to achieving this.” Decision.”
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority was also supportive.
“Our resorts, casinos and attractions continue to work to ensure that the health and safety of our residents and visitors is paramount and will continue to support the state’s expanded guidelines to help reduce the spread of the virus,” said Lori Nelson- Kraft, spokeswoman for the LVCVA.
Take Abouzeid, president and founder of LaunchVegas LLC, a Las Vegas-based professional services company, said most casino companies would have written off by 2020.
“As for the casino industry, everyone has already written off the year as a failure and is planning to deliver vaccines next year,” Abouzeid said. “The industry is grinning and wearing it until the vaccine arrives and thinking about how to do their business smarter for the future.”
Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.