Governor Parson was joined by Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) Director Rob Dixon, Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten, and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams.
“Between now and May 4, we will continue to monitor the situation and work with Missouri’s hospitals, health care providers, public health experts, business leaders, and state departments to develop a data driven plan,” Governor Parson said. “We will also be reaching out to the business community, as well as local county and city government, to put these plans in place for May 4th and begin the first phase of reopening Missouri.”
Governor Parson introduced the plan following yesterday’s extension of the “Stay Home Missouri” Order.
The plan is deliberate and data-driven with two initial phases intended to protect those most at risk of exposure to COVID-19 while returning Missouri to a new normal. Additionally, the “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan rests on four essential pillars:
- Rapidly expand testing capacity and volume in the state, including testing for those who are currently contagious and those who have developed immunity to the virus
- Expand reserves of PPE by opening public and private supply chains and continuing to utilize Missouri businesses in that effort
- Continue to monitor and, if necessary, expand hospital and health care system capacity, including isolation and alternate care facilities for those that cannot self-quarantine at home
- Improve ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri’s public health data
This framework will allow the state to work through a gradual reopening, leading to broader economic recovery. Specifically, Missouri’s economic recovery plans will focus on the diversity of Missouri – its people, businesses, communities, and infrastructure, among others.
Missouri is still currently in the immediate response phase and will soon move to the gradual reopening phase driven by Missouri-specific public health data.
“No matter how long it takes, I assure you we will recover from this and come back better than before. I look forward to seeing Missourians safe, healthy, and back to work,” Governor Parson said.
Also during today’s briefing, Director Dixon provided an update on several other economic development relief efforts.
Early in the state’s COVID-19 response efforts, Governor Parson directed the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency and DED to seek assistance for Missouri businesses through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
As a result, 46,481 Missouri small businesses have been approved for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, ranking Missouri 10th in the nation for the number of businesses that have been approved. In total, these businesses were approved for more than $7.5 billion, putting Missouri at 15th in the nation for total dollars approved.
Yesterday, the SBA announced that it has subscribed its full $350 billion for the program, and there is no additional funding available.
Earlier today, Governor Parson and DED announced more than $3 million in state grants to help expand broadband internet service to 4,400 Missouri homes, businesses and farms.
Along with other state departments, DED has also created a web page that lists broadband discounts, waivers, and free resources available to Missourians during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts are intended to help ensure citizens have continued access to necessary services and that businesses remain connected to customers in today’s economy.
Additionally, DED’s Missouri One Start Division is working to connect health care workers with health care facilities in need of more staff.