BATON ROUGE, La. — May 5, 2020 — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced Tuesday the launch of the Mayor’s Business Roundtable Economic Recovery Working Group as a part of her Restart BR initiative. The working group will facilitate the responsible reopening of business activity in East Baton Rouge Parish, and create a strategy for repositioning industries, businesses and the work force in the COVID-19 economy.
The work group is directed by Mayor Broome and co-chairs chairs Jim Bernhard, Bernhard Capital Partners co-founder and partner, and Erin Monroe Wesley, Cox Southeast Vice President of Government and Public Affairs.
"I am grateful that Mayor-President Broome has asked me to co-chair Restart BR, which is her expanded Business Roundtable,” said Wesley. “We have a unique opportunity as a community to leverage the strengths of our business sector to help guide the Mayor’s office as they start to re-open the economy along with providing guidance and swim lanes on what our future economic development opportunities will look like throughout the city and parish."
The working group will develop recommendations for the near-term goals needed to move into Phase 1 of economic reopening, and will establish goals and timelines for moving into Phases 2 and 3.
"Our business community is a resilient one that has persevered through a number of challenges that has brought our city and parish together,” said Bernhard. “The depth and breadth though of this pandemic is unique. We will have to bring unique solutions as we address challenges that all of the citizens in the city and parish are facing in the short-medium-long term.”
The working group will focus on public policy, workforce development, infrastructure and mobility, education, funding and philanthropy, hospitality and tourism, health, small and disadvantaged businesses, and real estate.