Bounce Milwaukee to temporarily close, citing broad public health concerns
(Milwaukee, July 28th, 2020) Given the recent massive increase in Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks, Bounce Milwaukee has decided to temporarily close. “While we have taken every precaution to protect our staff, and have had no cases, we’ve seen a sizable portion of the public disregard community safety and we are not willing to risk our employees’ health. We would rather be proactive than reactive in caring for our workers and community”, said owner Rebecca Cooper.
The prioritization of profits over public health has been inexcusably irresponsible and forced small businesses like ours into a position of re-opening due to the absence of substantive economic aid. This rush to return to “business as usual” has caused infection rates to skyrocket, jeopardized many districts’ return to school, and actually stalled economic recovery by prolonging the impact of the pandemic.
“We would rather lead by closing than put families and children in danger as some of our competitors have done by opening prematurely, even when faced with a miles-long Covid-testing line just outside their front door,” said manager Justine Andrew.
As all institutions should, we will base our decision to reopen on the best science available. At this time, we expect that to be when Milwaukee County has 14 consecutive days with an average of 14 or fewer cases.
We are proud to continue donating space for Ayuda Mutua to provide food and hygiene products for those community members who are most financially impacted by the pandemic. Given the lack of robust federal aid to all people who need it, their work is particularly vital. We will also continue supporting our city’s social justice activists as much as possible.
We call on federal legislators to pass the HEROES Act and RESTAURANTS Act currently proposed in the House and Senate. We call on state leadership, particularly Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald, to pull their heads out of their respective asses and approve commonsense unemployment measures and a statewide mask mandate to prevent their constituents from losing their homes, businesses, and livelihoods rather than just bilking taxpayers for their own gain. We call for an expansion to small business aid and loan forgiveness to protect the entrepreneurs and innovators that actually make our communities great. Key to this will be removing obstacles to loans and working capital for Black and Brown business owners. And most of all, because none of the measures above go far enough, we call for universal basic income. Only a guaranteed income for all who need it will ensure that no workers are obligated to return to work prematurely or work while ill, thereby slowing the spread of this virus and bringing an end to the pandemic without additional catastrophic economic loss.
To learn more about these and other ways to support our industry, our employees and our community, please follow the Milwaukee Independent Restaurant Coalition (MIRC) and the Progressive Restaurants and Activists of Wisconsin Network (PRAWN).
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