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COVID-19 Community Response Roundup: Customer Counters & Colorful Pathways

May 8, 2020 | COVID-19 Community Response Roundup: Customer Counters & Colorful Pathways | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC | 
5_13_CommunityResponse_Blog.pngPhoto credit (left to right): Downtown Ferndale, Main Street Collierville, & Downtown Ferndale

The COVID-19 Community Response blog series features ideas and approaches that local Main Street America programs are taking in response to the pandemic and during the recovery process. To view the full collection of roundups as well as access our robust collection of coronavirus-related resources, please visit our COVID-19 Main Street Resources webpage.

Social-Distance-Friendly Dining. Mills 50 District in Orlando, Florida, is highlighting how their local restaurants are pivoting to serve customers under new state and local orders. A recent post showcased the Black Bean Deli and the great balance they have created between décor and distance in their outdoor patio space. By placing potted plants on every other table’s surface and chairs, the Deli is preventing customers from sitting too close together while still creating outdoor ambiance. As of this writing, Florida is allowing restaurants to operate at 25% capacity.

Face Mask Ready. Main Street Collierville in Collierville, Tennessee, is open for business. This Main Street program has created a photo-montage of their downtown businesses ready to welcome shoppers back, complete with Open signs and face masks. Thanks for highlighting how businesses are keeping their spaces safe! As of this writing, Tennessee is allowing in-store retail in most counties.

Maximum Capacity Counter. Alberta Main Street in Portland, Oregon, is amplifying this great idea to manage capacity from one of their grocery stores. Alberta Cooperative Grocery—a community-owned, worker run grocery store—has created a Customer Counter. This dial lets the business easily keep track of how many customers are in the store, and when the store is unable to allow new customers inside. Quick and clear communication is key! As of this writing, Oregon has not yet initiated their reopening plan.

All About the Flow. Ready to keep both customers and employees safe, Neca’s Bakery in Downtown Farmingham, Massachusetts, has made some changes. Downtown Framingham, Inc. showed off the bakery’s new pathways created out of colorful tape. These pathways help manage the flow of customers while also assist in maintaining space between shoppers. Additionally, the service counters are now plexiglass-protected. While it certainly hasn't been easy as pie, these efforts to protect the safety of both customers and employees really takes the cake. As of this writing, Massachusetts has not yet initiated their reopening plan.

Don’t Stand So Close to Me. Nothing says, “Please social distance,” like The Police’s classic rock song, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.” Adding a bit of humor to their safety reminders, Downtown Ferndale in Ferndale, Michigan, has placed signs with song lyrics all about social distancing around their downtown district. These signs reminded pedestrians to not stand… not stand so… not stand so close to other shoppers. As of this writing, Michigan is allowing retail to open for curbside pickup.

We look forward to sharing more Main Street community responses. Please fill out this form if your community has implemented an idea or approach you'd like to contribute.

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.