Wednesday April 22, 2020

The General Assembly is still “on hold” and will continue to do so until we are called back by Governor McMaster, so we are – like many others – staying home and trying to keep safe, making the best of these challenging times.
 
When we do go back, it will likely be to focus on the basics, such as the 2020-2021 state budget and supporting ongoing emergency and recovery efforts. Much of what has been worked on during this two-year session on a wide range of issues prior to the shutdown may have to wait until next year to see further action.
 
The 2020 Census is ongoing. Please be sure to fill out your census form. The information helps decide much of what happens in state, local and federal government. With the fast growth of York County, it’s crucial we get the most accurate population numbers. For more info, go online www.census.gov .
 
To help keep you informed, here are some updates that I’m passing along:
 
SCHOOL YEAR ENDS
 
This morning, Governor Henry McMaster and State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman held a press conference to announce the state’s public schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year.
 
FOR EMPLOYERS – S.C. DEW EMPLOYER’S ONLINE MEETING, 4/23
 
Join the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) for a virtual meeting to discuss COVID-19 response resources for employers. DEW panelists will explore what resources are available to you and your employees.

This will be held on April 23, 2020 at 3:00 PM Eastern.
 
Employers can register at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eG2tMdqPSceywzaQlowR-A . Space is limited, however the meeting will be recorded and posted to the DEW website.  
 
Please submit any unemployment questions you would like addressed on the registration page.
 
RECOVERY ADVISORY BOARD ASSEMBLED
 
Governor Henry McMaster announced the creation of accelerateSC, a coordinated economic revitalization plan involving small and large business leaders, healthcare professionals, local government officials, and education professionals. The plan focuses upon five components: Response, Protection, Governance, Resources, and Information.
 
James Burns, a partner at the law firm of Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough, will serve as accelerateSC’s executive director. Burns and the rest of the membership are serving in a voluntary capacity, which we greatly appreciate in this time of crisis. To learn more about accelerateSC and its members, visit the Governor’s website: www.governor.sc.gov

STATE WATER ACCESS BAN LIFTED

Governor McMaster has lifted some of restrictions on public access points to the state’s beaches, public piers, docks, and wharfs, while allowing local officials the authority to restrict access as they see fit. A number of beach communities have opted to keep closed and will be until they decide to re-open at some future time.

Public beach access points, piers, docks, and wharfs were also re-opened this week, subject to local restrictions. Public boat ramps and boat landings were previously reopened.
 
Before you attempt to travel to any of our state’s beaches, please take the time to verify your destination will be open to the general public. Otherwise you may waste a lot of time driving to your destination and back.
 
SOME RETAIL STORES ARE RE-OPENING
 
The Governor’s Executive Order also re-opened some retail stores, including:
  • Furniture and home-furnishings stores
  • Clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores
  • Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores
  • Department stores, with the exception of hardware and home-improvement stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Book, craft, and music stores
  • Flea markets
  • Florists and flower stores
 
All other businesses previously closed by executive order will remain closed until further notice.

Stores which are allowed to re-open must adhere to strict social distancing requirements, operating at 20% occupancy or five customers per 1,000 square feet, whichever is less. Those businesses must also not knowingly allow customers to congregate within six feet of one another, excluding families, and follow relevant CDC and DHEC guidelines. 
 
WE’RE NOT DONE YET!
 
Please remember that all other executive orders from Governor McMaster, including the “Home or Work” order, remain in effect. Please maintain social distancing practices and avoid large groups of people. We aren’t out of the woods yet.
 
Be sure to check on those living alone, especially seniors, to make sure they’re doing ok. If you can support ongoing relief efforts, please do so. Also don’t forget this is a great time to discover some great local restaurants – and right now, they need our help!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me ANYTIME!
If you can donate any N-95 masks or gloves (latex or latex alternatives like vinyl) to local hospitals, which look like these, PLEASE do so! THANK YOU!!!
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