Mayor Bynum Responds to April 30 Expiration of ‘Safer At Home Order’, Phased Reopening of Businesses


Nashville (April 21) — On Monday, Governor Bill Lee announced the order for Tennesseans to remain at home expires April 30, with the vast majority of businesses in 89 counties allowed to re-open on May 1.

“Our Economic Recovery Group is working with industry leaders around the clock so that some businesses can open as soon as Monday, April 27,” said Gov. Lee. “These businesses will open according to specific guidance that we will provide in accordance with state and national experts in both medicine and business.”

The Lee Administration will work with Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan counties and their health departments as they plan their own re-open strategies.

“While I am not extending the safer at home order past the end of April, we are working directly with our major metropolitan areas to ensure they are in a position to reopen as soon and safely as possible,” said Lee. “Social distancing works, and as we open up our economy it will be more important than ever that we keep social distancing as lives and livelihoods depend on it.”

The Economic Recovery Group (ERG), composed of 30 leaders from the public and private sector, is crafting guidance to assist businesses in a safe reopening. The industry representatives participating in the ERG collectively represent over 140,000 Tennessee businesses that employ over 2.5 million Tennesseans.

Weakley County Mayor Jake Bynum said of the news, “Based upon the conversations we’re having with leaders across the state, we believe lifting the order on May 1, will be like a dimmer on a light switch, in that the governor and economic recovery group are looking at ways to allow businesses to reopen, while also keeping the public health in mind. So, it’s important to remember we hope the majority of businesses will be allowed to reopen, but the way they open may be different than what we are accustomed to.”

Mayor Bynum stated having to wear masks and other personal protective equipment and practice social distancing may be some of the things required to maintain public safety. “All of those things we think may be recommendations once businesses go back into regular operations.”

Mayor Bynum stated, at this time, he doesn’t know what types of businesses will reopen, whether it will be everything or a phased in approach, much like the closure was.

“There are groups and sub-groups set up to advise the governor how different sectors of the business population will reopen, and potentially, what their needs are, in order to reopen and go back to at least some semblance of regular business,” Mayor Bynum said.

There are 15 individuals state officials appointed to serve as Gov. Lee’s Administration Representatives.

Additionally, industry leaders from across the state will head up 12 subgroups, including:

1. Community Outreach Committee; 2. Banking - Credit Unions Committee; 3. Manufacturing Committee; 4. Agriculture Committee; 5. Retailers Committee; 6. Small Business Indirect Committee; 7. Small Business Direct Committee; 8. Staffing - HQ - Office Management - Call Centers Committee; 9. Construction / Infrasturcture / Transportation; 10. Healthcare Committee; 11. Essential Businesses / Critical Infrastructure; 12. Government - State - Local

Local citizens serving on these committees include: County Mayor Jake Bynum, who is on the local Government Committee; Jay Yeargin is a member of the Agriculture Committee, and Nassar Nassar is on the Staffing - HQ - Office Management - Call Centers Committee.

“These sub-groups will advise the governor what reopening should look like,” Bynum said.

He added the needs and wishes of these businesses and industries will be taken into consideration. Then, they will compare that to the health benefits of enacting their recommendations.