Closure of non-life-sustaining businesses statewide impacting region

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Governor Wolf’s order for all non-life-sustaining businesses to close is provoking reaction and debate across the Commonwealth and here in our region.

Thousands of businesses small, large and in-between are impacted. It’s all quiet at the soon to be home of the Wilkes-Barre Area High School, construction has ground to a halt.

“I’m hoping that we are a few weeks ahead of schedule which I think we probably are,” said Denise Thomas, Vice Chairperson, WBASD School Board.

The nearly $120,000,000 construction project is now in limbo and like the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a lot of uncertainty.

“It was a little disappointing they had to stop the project but for the safety also of the trade unions up there they had to do what they had to do,” said Thomas.

Robert Bresnahan is CEO of Kuharchik Construction based in Exeter. His company is not involved with the Wilkes-Barre High School project, but he says his workers are now not working.

“It’s pandemonium, there isn’t a clarification. We have people who are worried about feeding their families asking how is this lay off process? They haven’t applied for unemployment since the 1980’s with our company. We’ve never had a lay off like this,” said Bresnahan.

He says for now he will continue to pay his 100 or so employees but he’s not sure how long his company can sustain that.

For a break down on the numbers involved in this business shutdown, click here.

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