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All Businesses are Essential

Business Continuity, Unity, & Social Distance Management

It is time for innovation, not prehistoric lockdown measures that have already proven to be far more damaging.”
— Edward Henry
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, January 11, 2021 / -- Community-driven neighborhoods typically filled with our favorite places to visit, eat, or shop are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Various popular restaurants, local shops, and many other small businesses have been forced to shut their doors due to lockdown orders. These small businesses are deemed non-essential, yet they provide the same products that essential, big-box stores sell on their shelves. Along with big-box stores and essential businesses staying open, more restrictions are being set on their operating hours. All businesses should remain essential with mandatory social distance measures, capacity limits, and necessary safety protocols, so permanent closures and lay-offs are no longer a trend.

Small businesses have spent a lot of their time and revenue to become social distance compliant and ensure that their workplace, staff, and customers are safe. For example, restaurants have had to perform contact tracing when serving customers, while big-box stores do not. They have spent time training their staff to understand the significance of contact tracing, social distance management, and other essential safety protocols. Yet, they have been forced to close.

While it is difficult to do so, small businesses bring communities together. Whether they are regulars or visitors, their customers are considered family. Without the presence of in-person shopping, this feeling of unity almost completely disappears.

Some organizations have tried to adjust to the lockdown measures by moving their services to online platforms and utilizing curbside pickup and delivery practices. With so much of their money going towards social distance compliance methods, these resources can help, but not all companies can afford to remain open with these options. Small businesses are getting struck with higher credit card fees and delivery costs, while big-box stores with deeper pockets can take advantage of online resources. While small businesses continue to suffer, big-box stores are not hit as hard in this ever-changing economy.

On top of lockdown measures, businesses that remain open are getting hit with further restrictions on already reduced hours because of a possible curfew. Businesses should be operational with more hours, spread out, as regular hours will allow for a safer, more controlled shopping experience. Big-box stores remain open with less control over their traffic flow because of larger spaces, longer lines, and little compliance under the classification of essential services.

While congregating in stores, some consumers use their face masks as an extra layer of defense over social distancing. If masks are worn, but no one remains a minimum of six feet apart, face masks are no longer the armor but merely a rule. Social distancing should be a priority and strictly enforced within all businesses to ensure all staff and consumers' safety and comfortability.

Social Distance Management continues to see the ongoing struggles that small businesses face daily because of further lockdown measures, such as restricting hours of operation and closing more companies that are not believed to be essential. Consistent social distance control plans need to be put in place for all businesses to reopen and restore their lives. Instead of limiting hours and locking doors, implement social distancing protocols in all stores and secure the adequate steps needed to keep businesses running in a thriving economy.

Edward Henry
Social Distance Management
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