Scott using task force, regional discussions to plan economic recovery

Published: Apr. 15, 2020 at 5:30 PM EDT
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Gov. Phil Scott says rebooting Vermont's economy after COVID-19 won't happen overnight. But he also says we need to work with other states in New England so there aren't any unintended consequences. Our Calvin Cutler has more on the long-term plan for economic recovery.

Curbing COVID-19 has slammed business in Vermont. While many have had to shut their doors, some have been able to adapt during the crisis.

Burton Snowboards in Burlington is producing face shields and ordering half a million masks to assist the state in fighting COVID-19.

"We have more than 50 people on the ground in China who work for Burton, who manage production control. They had to go into

the factory and say is this really an FDA approved mask," said Donna Carpenter, the chairwoman of Burton.

As COVID-19 cases in Vermont begin to plateau and businesses lay out a plan to restart, state leaders stress we have to reboot our economy in a methodical way.

The governor is forming a business task force that would guide how Vermont industries will boot up and recover after COVID-19. It's made up of business and community leaders who will hash out a plan for long-term economic recovery.

Vermont is also joining a regional approach.

"It's more of a formal recognition of what we're already doing," said Scott, R-Vermont.

State leaders are in talks with others in New England about what industries to open up and when so we don't lose ground in fighting COVID.

Scott says low social contact industries will most likely boot up first. But he also stresses we have to coordinate how we open our economy with other states.

"If one of those states were to open up their golf courses, you can imagine what would happen. There would be a lot of people traveling to their state to play golf. Those are the things that we want to make sure we're being strategic about," Scott said.

But ultimately, the governor says each state has to determine what's best for itself.

"Recognizing that every state is unique and has their own challenges and has done things correctly," he said.

State leaders intend to talk at least once a week and update each other on how individual states are doing and what they're opening up.