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Gov. Edwards Extends Phase II, Statement from LABI President and CEO Stephen Waguespack

July 21, 2020

This afternoon, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that he will extend Louisiana's “Phase II” reopening until August 7. LABI President and CEO Stephen Waguespack released the following statement:

“We’re obviously disappointed to remain in Phase II for at least two more weeks, and we are just as concerned with the lack of a clearly articulated and creative pathway to a safe, reopened society, school system and economy. Right now, businesses and families all across the state are suffering from the economic impact of this pandemic and every day we don’t reopen, more and more of those people and companies inch closer to insolvency. How is that level of economic upheaval, diminished educational outcomes and overall uncertainty good for long-term community health outcomes? Where is the same sense of urgency to reopen our economy and schools as we see in fighting the spread of COVID-19? Louisiana must attack each of these goals with strategic intention and stop pitting one against the other. Over the years, Louisiana has shown great resolve time and time again and has been an example to the nation on how to use creative perseverance to overcome adversity during storms, floods and other tragic events. We need that ingenuity now more than ever. Time is of the essence. Our businesses stand ready to work with anyone, wear any mask, follow any distancing guidelines, take any test and adopt any protocol it takes to get us on a clearly defined path to prioritize open schools, public health AND economic stability.”


For press inquiries, contact:

Mitch Rabalais
Communications Manager
(985) 317-8509

About the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry was organized in 1975 to represent Louisiana businesses, serving as both the state chamber of commerce and state manufacturers association. LABI’s primary goal is to foster a climate for economic growth by championing the principles of the free enterprise system and representing the general interest of the business community through active involvement in the political, legislative, judicial and regulatory processes. Find out more information at