Billionaire business owner Tilman Fertitta, who is the CEO of restaurant corporation Landry’s, said the U.S. needs nationwide rules for how businesses can reopen, calling it “literally ridiculous” to keep closing and reopening as the virus temporarily wanes and surges, CNBC reported.
He told CNBC that in his opinion, the constant rule changes and localization is hurting companies and the economy in the long run.
“At some point, the federal government has got to take it away from the states, and you’ve got to have clarity,” he said, according to CNBC. “This is so hard on businesses, it’s so hard on our employees.”
Fertitta’s remarks come as the U.S. has seen a massive uptick in coronavirus cases in mid- to late-June, connected to a number of states reopening large parts of their economies. Several states such as Texas, Florida and Arizona have been hit particularly hard and have shattered new case records multiple times in the past few weeks.
In response to the rise in cases, many of those states have now begun pausing their reopenings. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s health advisor, said many of the states had seemed to skip parts of their reopening plans.
Fertitta said he thinks what is needed is a federally mandated capacity level detailing to what extent businesses can operate for the rest of the year, CNBC reported. He said rapid-fire rules, such as those in San Diego on Tuesday (July 7) ordering residents to stay home and nonessential businesses to close, only hurt business due to the lack of any notice beforehand.
Fertitta said restaurants and other businesses should also be allowed to prorate their rents based on the capacity they’re allowed to operate at.
Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said the nation’s recovery would likely be tougher than it seemed due to resurgences of the virus. He said it would be important to look at how much of the economic and job losses would be permanent going forward due to the constantly shifting circumstances.
One solution, according to economists, is more cash payments for individuals.