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Reynolds creates economic recovery advisory board to help chart state’s path forward

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announces updates on COVID-19 in the state, Friday, April 24, 2020, in Johnston, Iowa. Gov. Reynolds permitted statewide health systems to resume elective procedures as well as farmers markets under distancing parameters starting April 27. Reynolds stated the end of April as when the current “bulk of declarations” on business closings will expire. (Olivia Sun/The Des Moines Register via AP, Pool)

(The Center Square) – Iowa Association of Business and Industry President Mike Ralston is singing the praises of Gov. Kim Reynolds over her handling of the state’s economic troubles stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re very excited and grateful to the governor for her focus on industry as we all seek to bounce back from everything that’s happened,” Ralston said. “First and foremost, the Governor is focused on the health and safety of every Iowan, then it’s the economic vitality of this state. Our organization is hoping what comes from this is the ability to help businesses grow, hire and improve opportunities across the board for the people of this state.”

 Preaching that the state is now in full-fledged recovery mode, Reynolds recently launched a 13-member advisory board that will make recommendations aimed at expediting the process. Created by executive order, the panel will primarily be comprised of state business leaders with Ruan Transportation CEO Ben McLean serving as the leader.

“The first thing I’d like to see them do is review the data to see how the state was doing before the virus hit while also focusing on what happened during the pandemic,” Ralston said. “Beyond that, we need to be focusing on areas where businesses need assistance, things like cash liquidity and what challenges exist for manufacturing as they seek to return to normal.”

Reynolds stressed the actions of the board will be just the “tip of the spear” when it comes to charting the best course for the state going forward.

“I’ve talked with plenty of business people and there’s a lot of excitement for what’s happening,” Ralston added. “Everybody seems committed to doing whatever they can to help the state get back on track.”

According to The Gazette, over the last several weeks coronaviruus figures across the state have been trending in a positive direction, with seven-day averages for new deaths (5.6), current hospitalizations (197.4) and recent hospital admissions (19.6) have all fallen to late-April levels.

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