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As I See It

Now the time to determine which businesses are really essential

Scott Robert Shaw

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Some say it is unfair, or at least inconsistent. We can’t go to a restaurant, but we can go to a big box store. We can still wander around those big box stores, but in some stores and businesses we can only go in one or two at a time. We can’t go to a bar, but we can stand in line to buy beer at the convenience store. For a few days we could play golf, then we couldn’t, and now we can again. The varying rules have some customers frustrated. But its important to know why things are the way they are. The decision to close the bars but leave the big boxes open is part of the state of Wisconsin’s Safer at Home Order. Thankfully, they didn’t have to spend time debating what businesses are essential and which are not amid a pandemic. That work was done years ago. Our lawmakers determined which businesses can continue operating and which have to shut their doors or make specific arrangements for transactions. There are 26 categories of essential businesses in Wisconsin. Broadly, they include essential government functions, human services and essential infrastructure. Specifically that includes banks, gas stations, mail and media. This would be a good time for our lawmakers to review this list, and debate whether changes are needed. And if you have some opinions about what should and shouldn’t be essential, now would be a good time to contact your lawmakers and let them know what you think.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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