The Peoria Chamber of Commerce Business Association and all businesses in Peoria want to go back to work! In this unprecedented time, working in collaboration with the city of Peoria, ASU and the SBDC (Small Business Development Center), this “strike force” called or visited over 2,000 businesses in Peoria and delivered countless banners and other needed support tools.
We listened to concerns and worked hard to connect these businesses to needed resources as best we could. Some areas we couldn’t provide help with. For example, the massive cash flow needs of our businesses is overwhelming, and many businesses may close as a result.
Last week, Gov. Doug Ducey laid the groundwork for a phased reopening of the Arizona economy through the month of May. However, every day for the past 60 days, Peoria workers from health care, transit, first responders, grocery, utility, postal, construction, retail, solid waste, corrections, janitors and countless other professions are at some risk to exposure to the coronavirus in our Peoria workplaces.
Nothing would be worse for the economy than a premature reopening followed by an explosion of the disease and a second shutdown. While our 7,000-plus cases at the time of this writing pales in comparison to other states, putting our business workers’ safety first is the first step in any viable plan to reopen and could save lives, defeat the coronavirus, allow the restart of commerce and revive the AZ economy. Yes, reopen. But let’s reopen safely.
Preventative guidelines should be considered by any business now open and/or working to reopen in the coming weeks. OSHA has developed a tool for “Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” which can be found at osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf.
The CDC has issued guidance, as has the Arizona Restaurant Association in coordination with the governor’s office, which can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/guidance-list.html and azrestaurant.org/covid-19-resources, respectively.
All businesses should have a precise plan to operate in this new paradigm. We, as the Peoria Chamber, call on all business owners and executives to put first things first and build a plan to protect their employees and their customers as our economy begins to reopen.
Please visit peoriachamber.com and the peoriaaz.gov/covid19 webpage to include business resources for those who may need assistance. Or reach the Peoria Chamber of Commerce at email@example.com with needs or questions.
We will make it through this together!