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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, September 11, 2020

Greater Chattanooga Realtors, Home Builders Association, other partners support extension of mask mandate




The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, the Chattanooga Tourism Co., Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee, the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga, Greater Chattanooga Realtors and the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association support extending the Hamilton County mask mandate, they say, so the Chattanooga community can continue doing business and serving visitors safely while lowering the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

“The more safely our members can do business and serve our community, the shorter their path to economic recovery,” says Christy Gillenwater, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber. “Data is showing that areas with mask mandates see less transmission than those without.”

“For visitors and the community members with whom they interact, the mask mandate increases safety,” says Barry White, CEO of the Chattanooga Tourism Co. “It also supports our local economy and our community’s tourism and hospitality jobs, as data from destination analysts shows us the vast majority of visitors want to travel to destinations that have a mask mandate in place.”

“We believe Mayor Coppinger’s intention is to have the best interest of the community at heart by extending the mask mandate,” says Leslie Gower, executive director of Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee. “AGC East Tennessee stands behind initiatives that keep the construction industry working while protecting the health and welfare of our workforce.”

“The extension of the mask mandate further supports the commitment manufacturers have to safety, as the industry continues to prioritize safe workplaces throughout this challenging time,” says Megan King, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association.

“The Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s Government Affairs Committee voted unanimously to support Mayor Coppinger’s decision to extend the mask mandate,” says Doug Fisher, executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga. “We view this order not as the government telling us what to do but rather as a method to keep our economy moving forward.”

Christy Auld, commercial services and government affairs director for Greater Chattanooga Realtors, says, “Greater Chattanooga Realtors continues to provide guidance and tools to conduct business while practicing social distancing and protecting the community we serve.”

In recent surveys of Chamber member businesses:

• 85% of respondents feel wearing masks increases public confidence

• 84% support the recent mask mandate

• 85% of those who supported the mandate support an extension

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger has extended the county’s mask mandate until Oct. 8.

Source: Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce