Martin Guitar shop back in business

C.F. Martin and Co. is back in business.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf lifted stay-at-home orders for the entire state, effective Friday. That means nearly all businesses can operate, with some restrictions, in all 67 counties. Northampton County, where the iconic guitar factory is located, was among the final 18 counties cleared for businesses since the coronavirus-caused shutdown of non-essential businesses was announced on March 19.

Martin officials did not immediately respond to the news. But it seems likely that a return to full production will take some time. Martin will still have to follow virus guidelines, including wearing masks, frequent handwashing, and social distancing.

Two state senators representing the area wrote to the governor on May 21, asking that he grant a waiver allowing an immediate return to manufacturing. Some waivers had been granted since the mid-March stay at home orders were issued, but the rate of issuance seems to have slowed since counties started reopening, and one for Martin was not forthcoming.

Sen. Mario Scavello, a Republican, and Sen. Lisa Boscala, a Democrat, said Martin was at a “serious disadvantage” because competitors in California, Arizona, and Maryland had already returned to operation.

And now, Martin, too, is back!

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About the Author

David Morris

David Morris, an award-winning songwriter and journalist, has written for Bluegrass Today since its inception. He joined its predecessor, The Bluegrass Blog, in 2010. His 40-year career in journalism included more than 13 years with The Associated Press, a stint as chief White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, and several top editing jobs in Washington, D.C. He is a life member of IBMA and the DC Bluegrass Union. He and co-writers won the bluegrass category in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2015.