Baker eying business rebound challenge

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – With COVID-19 restrictions set to come down Saturday, Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday that he expects in the coming months to have his hands full trying to help people who owned businesses or worked in industries that were hammered by the pandemic and the government-mandated restrictions that came with it.

“I went to this governors’ meeting in Nashville the other day; Nashville is all about live music. Well, there hasn’t been a lot of live music for the better part of the past year. So, all kinds of people who built careers on their ability to put up and take down and support live music shows basically had everything they’ve been doing pretty much wiped away,” he said. “This will be one of the most challenging issues we’re all going to face coming out of this, which is how do we help people in those industries stand themselves back out to the extent that they can.”

Baker mentioned friends of his in the conference business, another industry that essentially evaporated last spring. He said owners of businesses that have thrived during the pandemic have told him they weren’t any smarter than others, they just happened to be on the right side of the “COVID curve.”

And businesses that failed weren’t led by people who were any dumber than others, he said.

“In some ways, that’s the most difficult thing of all. It’s not like anybody did anything wrong. They just happened to be in a business that COVID hammered,” Baker said. “And that’s one of the reasons why we’ve tried as a commonwealth to be so supportive of initiatives to provide people with assistance.”

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