This is a great song by Steve Earle. Listen to it here.
As we continue to win the battle on COVID-19, as the song says, it's important to keep this rig unwound, keep the hammer down, and flip the bird dog on. Some millennials are burning up their puzzlers because they have no idea what any of that means. Listen to the song one more time!
Folks, we must continue to advance the line for our local businesses. One of the critical lessons we learned during COVID-19 was that keeping money at home makes a difference. We believed it, we were committed to it, and our actions spoke loudly.
As an example, look at the sales tax results from 2020 compared to 2019. No CFD, restaurants closed for indoor dining for part of the year, events canceled, and tax receipts held chalk.
I can't tell you how proud we should be of our community and our absolute “no-giving-in” attitude to keep local businesses healthy. Did we save everyone? Unfortunately, no. Did COVID-19 impact us both in financial and human terms? Yes! If you look at Cheyenne and Laramie County, we fared much better than many places across this country. Much of this is attributable to our business community's unrelenting efforts, so thank you.
We are gaining, and now is not the time to rest. Our hospital admission rates are dropping, our infection rates are declining, we are out from underneath a mask order, eating establishments are now fully reopened, but folks, it's not over. Now is our time, Cheyenne! Now is the time to keep rockin' while I still can, to shift to a higher gear, and hear the steel belts humming on the asphalt.
This year and our approach to returning to normal, in my opinion, will define us potentially for a generation. Let it be said of Cheyenne and Laramie County that as we came out of the pandemic, we put the hammer down, we let the black smoke flow from the stacks, and our patio light said onward.