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NMGOP Press Conference 4/13/20

Opening statements by Chairman Steve Pearce:
The state should be addressing the Coronavirus situation with more urgency and agility.
The state government needs to pay attention to small business.
The Governor has shown a preference for corporate giants, big box business over small Mom and Pop small business.
The social distancing practices can be followed by small business as well or better than the large business.
150,000 small businesses in New Mexico
331,000 are employed by small business, 56% of the New Mexico Workforce.
Hispanics represent 25% of New Mexico small business owners.
Over 50% are owned by women.
Local bank lobbies are shut down, banks in big box stores are functioning normally.
Under President Trump, New Mexico was recovering economically, now restrictions for the coronavirus pandemic are putting that recovery in danger.
Opening statement by @LeaderTownsend:

He has been inundated by calls from employees of small businesses that have lost their jobs.
Some counties have no, or few cases and are shut down like counties with high numbers of cases.
@LeaderTownsend People are very unhappy with "Big Brother" overreach.
Hotels, motels and RV parks in south eastern New Mexico requested and got a waiver, because of the shortage of housing. There has been no evidence of increased spread.
@LeaderTownsend The late afternoon shot at New Mexico churches, on the eve of Easter, was poorly timed and poorly delivered. People were understandably upset.
@LeaderTownsend Leader Townsend has asked the Governor to slow down on restrictions. She cannot ignore coronavirus, but she also cannot ignore the economical crisis in New Mexico
@LeaderTownsend Next speaker was Kathy Diaz of Monroe's restaurant:
Has been in business for 43 years.
@LeaderTownsend Has had to lay off 50 workers, 75% of their employees, "like family members", working for Monroe's for multiple years.
The impact on the restaurant trickles down to vendors, suppliers, and the service industry, such as laundry and repair.
@LeaderTownsend She pleaded that the governor ease back on business closures-social distancing and a safe environment can be maintained by small business and restaurants.
Next speaker was Javier Sanchez, Mayor of Espanola and owner of a restaurant that has been in business for fifty years and a key part of the community.
He pointed out that the restrictions on small business will cause shifts in the labor market.
People forming larger households.
People moving to larger cities.
People going to work for national chains for job security.
The coronavirus business restrictions
are exacerbating fissures in the economy of New Mexico and revea weaknesses in the infrastructure, especially in regards to high speed internet and education.

Economic shifts can also cost lives!
The next speaker was Shelly Quartieri, owner of a tavern, diner and package store in Colfax county.

The restaurant shut down, the package sales forced to close, meanwhile big box stores still open for alcohol sales.
In Colfax county, with only one case of Coronavirus, people now have to drive to counties with higher number of cases because her business has been shut down.
The governor has not shown a willingness to work with local governments, according to the county manager.
Breweries are allowed to stay open for package sales.
The community is very upset.
Louie Sanchez, owner of Calibers shooting range reiterated many of the previous speakers points, and highlighted the confusion for gun stores and shooting ranges-the Federal government calls them essential, New Mexico does not and they have been closed down.
The next speaker was State Senator State Senator Cliff Pirtle, a dairy farmer/producer.

Coop requiring 10% reduction in production or face penalties.

Losing money on every gallon of milk produced.
There is a national surplus of milk, but limits on purchases and milk is being dumped.
30% drop in beef prices for ranchers
Senator Pirtle expressed concerns about the availability of PPE for large animal vets and the impact on farmers and ranchers.
The private sector has shown it can be safe, proven by "essential businesses". New Mexico can get back to work and stay safe.
The impact on farmers and ranchers goes far into the future as they make decisions for future based on current conditions and finances.
Final comments:

Small businesses are going broke and they do not have the resources to cope that large, national chains have.
Participants ask governor to make common sense restrictions, and work with the local businesses.
The state must not take a "one size fits all" approach and apply the same restrictions in areas with urban, rural, sparsely populated and densely populated areas. End
And today, "Christus St. Vincent puts 300 employees on temporary leave"… via @thenewmexican #nmpol
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