We still aren't officially out of the coronavirus "tunnel" but we can definitely say the light we are seeing isn't an oncoming train. We are using that metaphor to paraphrase how many Louisiana business owners are feeling following yesterday's announcement by Governor John Bel Edwards that Louisiana will be moving into Phase 3 of the state's coronavirus recovery plan.

Stephen Waguespack is the President of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and told the Louisiana Radio Network, 

Our businesses are looking forward to that and we hope that this Phase Three, look let’s be honest, we hope it’s a short-lived stop and we get to fully opening soon enough

To say, business owners, especially in south-central and southwestern Louisiana have had more than their share of hardship over the past 12 months is an incredible understatement. In addition to government restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, they've also dealt with two significant hurricanes, and most recently an ice and snow event.

Now, finally, business owners have something to be truly optimistic about.

Currently, our state's unemployment rate is about 8%, that figure should begin to decrease as more and more businesses will be opening to serve more and more customers. One of Louisiana's leading industry's tourism should also get a huge shot in the arm, pun intended, as neighboring states are lifting restrictions too.

Waguespack also mentioned in his conversation with LRN, the importance of the state's residents getting vaccinated against coronavirus so we won't backslide in our recovery.

Consult with your physician and if you are good for the vaccine, we encourage you to go out and do it. It’s not just good you, it’s good for your family and it’s good for the community

And as Bishop Deshotel of the Diocese of Lafayette explained, the vaccine should be considered as an act of charity toward your neighbor. Let us hope a charitable attitude combined with good medicine and great science, and common sense will help lead Louisiana out from under the pandemic strain we've all had to deal with over the past year.

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