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Petition seeks to open Houston small businesses by May 1

A recently founded group of business owners is hoping to get the attention of local and state leaders, as many businesses remain closed due to the coronavirus crisis. The Houston Coronavirus Business Group has more than 475 members, which includes small business owners, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals.

"Every day that this goes on, it's pushing us closer to an Houston News economic disaster," said the group's founder Jon Silberman.

Silberman is spearheading a petition to open up small businesses by May 1. The purpose of their grassroots efforts is to be an advocate for business owners.

"To provide a voice for those folks who are suffering economically from what's going on and make sure their voices heard," Silberman said.

After hearing the Trump administration plans to slowly reopen the economy, Silberman said he is still worried.

"My concern with the new guidelines is they have some requirements that look like it could put us farther out to try to reopen the city of Houston," he said.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turned declined to directly answer questions about when the city could lift restrictions.

"We are having conversations, but we are not at this point ready to Press Release Distribution Service In Houston announce how we are going to open up the city up at this point," Turner said Thursday during a daily coronavirus press conference.

In addition to the petition, Silberman said he plans to reach out to state and local leaders to have virtual meetings to discuss the pandemic's impact on small businesses in Houston.

“Every day that this goes on, the risk goes up: we are going to have the worst economic downturn than we expect,” Silberman said.

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