Dear Business Leaders, May 19th, 2020
2020 has presented one of the biggest challenges to humanity in recent decades. COVID-19 was an unfamiliar term less than five months ago and even then it was something that happened somewhere else on the planet. Now it is with us, and we suddenly find ourselves living in a reality that focuses on face masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing. No education or recent experience taught us how to conduct business in this environment and yet you continue to grow forward, weighing costs and benefits that affect not only your business, but also your family, friends, customers and the larger community as a whole. The attached fifty plus page manual offers safe practice guidance for specific business sectors, as well as links to additional resources.
It is encouraging to see business owners acting responsibly, deciding for themselves when it is time to reopen, and how. It is encouraging when we see businesses becoming creative problem-solvers whether it be how to help manage this pandemic by quickly shifting their business to make protective gear, or how to decide whether to keep your doors open, and if so, how to keep staff and customers as safe as possible. Jefferson County has been more fortunate than many others in Iowa, and the work done by the local Public Health and Emergency Management team has led the way. We are grateful for their good work. We are encouraged by the citizens in the county who have found ways to celebrate the graduating seniors as they move toward the next phase of their life in this odd new world. Well done to the organizers!
Life during a pandemic is the present, but we need to adapt to this new business landscape and keep your business moving toward the future. We will continue to learn through this major paradigm shift and we will be stronger as a result of the changes we make in the coming weeks, months and years. The human drive to make sense of chaos will help us find order and organization. Be patient, be kind, be thoughtful, and keep your eye on others around you. We will all reach a point of exhaustion with this new world sooner or later, and as a community we need to help each other when the burden gets too great. Those moments of support will define our community.
In the meantime, we offer the following guidance in this publication that originated from the US Chamber of Commerce. You probably have taken many of these steps already and if that’s the case, we hope seeing them in print will confirm that you’re on the right track.
Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce