The Associated Press filed open-records requests in May seeking copies of communications between governors’ offices and health, business and local government organizations during the period when they were considering reopening plans. The AP received records at no cost from at least 15 states, including Missouri. A few states sought to charge the AP hundreds or thousands of dollars. Many others still haven’t provided records, citing delays in complying with open-records laws because of the coronavirus.
Records provided by Parson’s office included a survey of 146 businesses conducted by Associated Industries of Missouri from April 15-20. About two-thirds of respondents said their business had significantly declined during the pandemic. The survey results also included extensive comments from business leaders.
Some urged caution and a gradual approach to reopening.
“We would love to be back to normal, but not if it creates a second wave of risk,” wrote one person. Another warned: “The lack of available testing for COVID-19 makes it reckless to relax the present stay at home orders.”
But more business leaders pleaded to allow customers back in their doors.
“RE-Start our economy before we don’t have one. Please,” implored one survey respondent. Another wrote: “Just get out of the way and LET US GO TO WORK!!!!!!”