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Reopening Safely: Helpful Tips for Community Leaders and Small Business Owners

April 30, 2020 | Reopening Safely: Helpful Tips for Community Leaders and Small Business Owners | By: Matthew Wagner, Ph.D., Vice President of Revitalization Programs, NMSC | 


As states begin to open their economies across the nation, small business owners will first and foremost need to look to both local and state guidelines as they determine how to reopen safely. At the same time, they will need to recognize changes in consumer psyche that may shift shopping habits and perceptions of safe shopping requiring them to adjust basic operations.

This will undoubtedly be a complicated process to navigate for small businesses, as well as for community leaders looking to provide guidance and clarity during reopening periods. While every state will be operating independently, and there will be even more nuance at the local level, we developed a set of general tip sheets for Main Streets—one for community leaders and one for small business owners—to help you through the reopening process. From direction on how businesses can provide safe shopping experiences to ways that community leaders can overlay a recovery plan to current work plans and Four Point activities, these tips offer a starting point as you enter the first phase of recovery efforts.

Click on image tiles to view tip sheets

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Main Street America has been agglomerating best practices and curating resources to support your work. As we move forward with an eye toward recovery, it will be important as a network to continue to share what we are doing to support our downtowns and districts, along with our key stakeholders like small businesses. We remain committed to helping you navigate the reopening of businesses, management of regulations, and understanding how the local economy will operate moving forward.

As part of this, we are excited to announce that we will soon be launching a new area of the COVID-19 Main Street Resource Center that is dedicated to helping you navigate the recovery and reopening process. This area will feature a range of resources, including up-to-date information on state’s reopening plans, recovery planning tools, and sample documents and templates. We also look forward to featuring an article by Norma Ramirez de Miess, Director of Leadership Development, who will highlight strategic next steps for your Main Street to move beyond crisis mode to define your program’s journey to recovery. Please stay tuned for all these resources and more as we turn towards addressing this next stage of the crisis.

Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal, insurance, liability, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal, insurance, tax, and accounting advisors for guidance on these matters.