ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The governor's Economic Recovery Council met for the first time Friday.
The council, a cross section of business leaders from around the state, will give the governor recommendations about how to reopen the state's economy.
I've been outspoken since this started," said Carri Phillis, who owns The Salt Yard restaurants in Albuquerque. "I became a self-appointed advocate, you could say, for the bar and restaurant industry."
In addition to The Salt Yard, Phillis also owns Effex Nightclub in downtown Albuquerque.
Her establishments have been shut down since March-- with no plans to re-open anytime soon.
"It was probably one of the hardest decisions I've ever made," she said. "I've had some successful businesses and not-so-successful businesses and I've always been able to help people find jobs. For the first time, I had to lay people off, and it was devastating to me."
Phillis sent letters to the governor-- raising concerns about the decisions to force certain businesses to close.
To her surprise, the governor asked her to be on the council to offer solutions to reopen.
"We want to get people back to work, but we want to get people back to work safely and that is the biggest thing we are working to figure out," Phillis said.
The governor tasked the council to recommend ways different sectors of the economy can reopen.
"We all want people to go back to work," Phillis said. "I want all my staff back and be active again, but we want to smart about it. We don't want to reopen and then have a spike and close down again. That's not what is best for our economy. To me, that is the worst thing for our economy."
Timelines and goal dates for the council to give the governor recommendations have not been determined. Friday's initial meeting was mostly for the council to get to know each other, and hear from the governor.
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