Each state’s Governor, with guidelines from the POTUS, has a plan to reopen for business following the coronavirus pandemic response.
The reopening will happen in phases. The kick start will take place more quickly in places where COVID-19 cases appear to be under control.
Plan to Reopen American Businesses
What does that mean for your small business?
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The national plan puts the final responsibility in the hands of each state’s Governor. A national plan could not be applied with a broad brush. The 18-page plan is a guideline for Governors.
Each Governor will reopen the state for business in a three-phase plan. That’s what is recommended in the national plan.
When can Phase 1 start? The national plan recommends that Phase 1 can start in states where the rate of positive COVID-19 tests have declined for two weeks. The state’s hospitals should also be ready to handle an increase in cases, should that occur.
Here’s an overview of the plan:
- Phase 1 – Strict social distancing for everyone when out in public. Non-essential travel is discouraged. Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. Allow employees to work from home as much as possible. Gyms and restaurants can open while following strict physical distancing protocols. Vulnerable people should still shelter at home.
- Phase 2 – Continue social distancing. Travel can resume. Limit gatherings to no more than 50 people. Continue strict physical distancing protocols.
- Phase 3 – Business as usual, while keeping a vigilant eye on new infection outbreaks.
The national plan recommends that each state remain at a phase for 14 days. During that 14 days, the state should monitor new cases and testing.
Your Return to Business
Do you operate in an area where the COVID-19 infection rate is declining? Do you operate in an area where the virus was widespread?
According to a survey last week, nearly 70% of Americans fear a resurgence of the virus. Those people are your small business customers.
Your state may reopen at Phase 2. You may opt to conduct your business with Phase 1 restrictions.
Your careful attention to taking extra precautions may have an extra benefit. It may make customers more comfortable doing business with you.
It won’t be business as usual. Some small businesses may be taking temperatures of staff and customers. Disinfection strategies in the workplace will be of utmost importance.
The Balancing Act
Even as states poise to reopen in phases, leaders of cities and towns have already postponed “large gathering” events. Large fairs, festivals and sporting events are unlikely.
Mayor Bill de Blasio of hard-hit New York City urged caution.
“If we move too quick, we put 50,000 people in Yankee stadium, and that’s part of why you’d see a resurgence of the disease,” de Blasio said. “You can’t have sporting events and big crowds until you can prove you’ve brought this disease down to something very limited.”
Each state, and the country, need to protect public health while restoring the economy. Small business owners should be hopeful.
The POTUS’s plan to reopen America is a positive step. The outlook is much more positive than it was two months ago.
Get ready to turn that CLOSED sign to OPEN. It’s going to feel good.
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