State Sen. Mike Morrell

Since Monday, March 16, the state legislature has been on recess in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus 23rd District State Senator Mike Morrell is working with of his offices in Sacramento and Rancho Cucamonga to assist constituents with any issues during this state of emergency.

According to Morrell, the majority of the calls he is getting are from concerned business owners who are looking for guidance and resources.

Morrell said he is working with the Building Industry Association of Southern California regarding permits. He is also asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to help keep local cities open through conference calls or online so that the permit process can continue and not be interrupted. Since the permit process can take up to two years, if cities continue to shut down, developers, businesses and residents will not be able restart building and buying homes and businesses once the emergency is over. Economic recovery will be stalled.

The city of Highland is still processing permits.

Morrell is also working with local chambers of commerce to get the word out about a new U.S. Treasury program that would work with banks to provide loans to small- and medium-size businesses.

Other questions Morrell is receiving are: what essential businesses are open and what does Newsom’s stay-at-home order mean.

Morrell provided a list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help state, local, tribal and industry partners as they work to protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health, safety and the economy; to see the full list go to covid19.ca.gov/img/EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers.pdf.

Morrell wants the public to know that the local supply chain is safe. He is urging people not to panic buy. He cites a statement by the California Grocers Association, which said, in part, “We want to assure customers that the supply chain is healthy and there is enough for all. But, with the increased demand, the grocery stores need a chance to catch up to restock the shelves. We encourage consumers to remain calm and exercise sensibility when shopping. Overbuying is a concern as a customer who buys more than they need could prevent another customer’s preparation.

COVID-19 has caused demand to surge for a number of grocery items. The demand for some products has made it a challenge to distribute goods and restock shelves as quickly as consumers are purchasing them. In response, California’s grocery industry is working double-time to meet the needs of consumers, with many grocery stores restocking items multiple times each day.

“We express appreciation to the thousands of dedicated grocery employees that continue to go to work every day, despite the many challenges created by COVID-19. Grocery employees and their families are another important consideration, and we understand they will need additional flexibility to take care of themselves and their loved ones,” and, “As the situation progresses, grocers continue to monitor product availability up and down the supply chain. Rest assured, the supply chain in healthy and there is enough product for all.

“During these uncertain times, it’s important our communities remember we are in this together — customer and employee safety is paramount to ensuring Californians can access the products they need.”

Morrell pointed out that now is a great time to get closer with your children; he said his wife observed a father and son in their neighborhood playing catch in the front yard and that it was her first time seeing them outside their house.

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