More than three years after the pandemic first began, businesses and families alike are still feeling the long-term implications of COVID-based restrictions, anti-business economic policies, and bureaucratic red tape.
That’s why one Christian-based financial tech company, Revere Payments, decided to relocate to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to solidify its search for real “freedom” as it continued operations despite government hurdles.
“When it came to the brand of Revere, Revere is really centered around freedom, and… when the decision came, where would we relocate or locate the headquarters for Revere, it seemed the obvious choice for the freedom brand was the freedom state of Florida,” CEO Wendy Kinney told Fox News Digital.
“So for us, it came through prayer and contemplation, and really the brand driving along with the Lord driving where we’re going to go,” she continued.
The payment processing company made the announcement earlier this month, revealing that the headquarters would be moved from Las Vegas to Palm Beach Gardens.
“This move will result in the creation of 100 new job opportunities within the next three years,” the press release states.
Florida endured the largest influx of new residents last year, with its population surge amounting to a whopping 2% – well above the national average of 0.4% that was recorded between July 2021 and July 2022.
Other states that led in population growth include Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Arizona and Idaho.
On the other end of the spectrum, California, New York and Illinois, which have some of the highest tax burdens in the country, saw the biggest population declines in 2022. California saw its population tumble by more than 343,000 people in 2022, although New York had the overall largest decline in its population with a 0.9% drop.
Kinney attributed the widespread exoduses from blue states to restrictive COVID-related policies and the impact the strategies had on business owners and children alike.
Recent data from federal standardized test scores indicated back in June that students nationwide are still battling the effects of school closures – another restrictive COVID-related stance that has had a startling effect on the country’s most vulnerable.
Scores by the National Center for Education Statistics – also known as the Nation’s Report Card – indicated math scores have reached their lowest rate since 1990 while reading scores dipped to the lowest since 2004, continuing the downward trend since the pandemic began in 2020.
Kinney called the results of these pandemic policies “catastrophic.”
“There’s no question when you think about the pandemic and the residual and the collateral damage of it, whether it be to businesses, employees, people losing their jobs, but really to children, right down to children not being able to learn appropriately and efficiently, especially in the public school systems where they were really shut down for a long period of time, where some of those kids in that system, that was their best meal of the day, that was their warm hug,” Kinney said.
“That was their welcome. That was such a critical part of their well-being, and to take such an extreme approach, which some of these states did, I think it was catastrophic,” she continued.
Even though Biden previously declared the pandemic over back in 2022, critics have worried restrictive COVID-related policies could be making a comeback as some colleges and workplaces revert to 2020 mandates.
Fox News Digital asked Kinney if the Biden administration would take action to stifle the policies in order to lay the groundwork for businesses to flourish.
“Could the Biden administration do something to overcome the hurdles that we face? Could they? Yes. Will they? No,” Kinney responded. “My concern at this point, because of some of the chatter you hear, is the new variant of COVID and more restrictive policies. If you look at Rutgers, they’re looking at a jab and masking. You’re hearing all kinds of whispers now that more masking is coming.”
“The Biden administration recently has bought a lot of PPE equipment, so there’s more coming, and I hope I’m wrong. I hope some of the people who are speaking out about this are wrong, but the real concern is what’s going to happen now with 2024 approaching a new variant that’s going to be used to possibly restrict people in ways that we’ve literally never seen,” she continued.
Despite the president’s previous claim the pandemic is over, and reinvigorated fears over COVID mandates, Kinney argued the American people will not “tolerate” any more restrictions.
“I think Americans will not allow their freedoms to be stolen again,” Kinney said. “The American people aren’t going to stand for it anymore. If you just look around an airport, or you go anywhere, you see 95-plus percent, if not more, of the people are not wearing masks, and then you see the few scattering of people here and there who have their children masked up, or they’re masked up even to this day.”
“But I think trying to put the American people in a position where they’re locked down again… I just think that would be really catastrophic,” she continued. “I don’t think they’re going to tolerate it.”
FOX Business’ Megan Henney and Fox News’ Taylor Penley contributed to this report.
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