NASHVILLLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a major impact on the economy with some questioning how long it will be necessary for businesses to remain closed.
Governor Bill Lee said in his Tuesday press conference there will be a “significant increase” in Tennessee’s jobless rate due to COVID-19 pandemic
Across Tennessee, restaurants can only offer take out, drive through, or delivery service after the governor’s order for closing non-essential businesses Sunday.
State officials said unemployment numbers rival the Wall Street recession more than a decade ago.
Tennessee’s labor department, which tracks unemployment, said it’s tripling its staff to process claims.
Gov. Lee said he’s focused on Tennessee having its own plans for a timeline on returning to normalcy and lifting restrictions.
“My goal is that Tennessee takes the right steps at the right time, as I’ve said, that we don’t run after what somebody else is doing or listen too much to what voices are coming from outside Tennessee as much as what is happening right here in Tennessee,” explained Gov. Lee.
City leaders say there is help like the Nashville Financial Empowerment Center offering free counseling over the phone for Davidson County residents.
But as far as loosening restrictions impacting Metro Nashville’s economy, leaders say the community’s health is leading their decisions.
“I think flattening the curve is critical and I think the science has shown and best practice has shown, social distancing, safer at home initiatives that’s the way this has been solved overseas and in other communities around our country, so we believe our safer at home plan is the right way to go, and we’ll let science and best practices continue driving our decisions,” explained Dr. Alex Jahangir, Chairman of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force.
The state will also extend unemployment benefits to those suddenly out of work and to those who’ve been quarantined by a doctor. The US Small Business Administration is offering disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST for every county other than Davidson. Information for Davidson comes from the Metro Public Health Department.)
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.