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Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce Here to Help During Road to Recovery

Posted by: Justin Freeman on Monday, May 4, 2020

There is no business as usual today and with that reality we all are faced with new challenges and opportunities on the road ahead to recovery. There are many uncertainties still, but what is certain is that whether we’re in times of prosperity or times of crisis, your Chamber is leading the way, making sure we emerge stronger, together. We’re here to help you.

Instilling Hope, Inspiration and Togetherness
Now we reset and start thinking about the recovery process. We begin this recovery period before the crisis is over by focusing on how to prepare to face the obstacles before us. Being prepared is oftentimes the best line of defense. That’s where your Chamber comes in. Step one is preparing our member businesses to get back to work safely and approach it all with a positive attitude that instills hope, inspiration and togetherness in the community.

Renewing Commitment
This is a time of renewed commitment for all of us. Remember, our economy was strong heading into the pandemic, and we are well-positioned to bounce back. We have weathered many storms before, and are confident that our hard work, collaboration, and entrepreneurial spirit in Northwest Arkansas will guide us through these rough seas and into a brighter future.

Increasing Engagement
Politically, our elected officials, mayors and city councils are on the front lines and we hear directly from them almost daily. Your engagement with us has never been as important as right now so that we can share major concerns directly with our senators and congressmen, and organizations that can help us.

Connect with us. The Chamber Voice of Business communications channels include the online monthly newsletter, Blog, Podcast and Video platform. These are your trusted sources for essential information and news during the Recovery Period and beyond. Be sure you have opted-in to receive the Chamber’s Monday Memo and Thursday Calendar at a Glance eNews mailed each week to keep you updated. It’s all about empowering you, our small business owners. This is how we will continue to get meaningful opportunities on the table for companies of all sizes and push forward to rebuilding.

Working Safely
There are businesses out there right now that have gone through the entirety of this crisis while continuously having staff working safely at the workplace and successfully surviving. A common thread among these businesses has been making staff and customers feel safe. They have been noticeably disciplined with social distancing, sanitizing, wearing masks when appropriate and honoring a “don’t show up sick” policy. It all begins with your safety for employees and it carries through to the customer.

Practicing the Six Workplace Readiness Essentials
In this next phase of the recovery process, a handful of primary focus areas will be applicable to nearly every real estate owner and occupier across the globe. From big organizations to small ones, from those with one location to those with hundreds—each in their own way will be focused on the following Workplace Readiness Essentials: 

Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions in Arkansas | Dine-In Operations Resume May 11
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced in late April the first phase of lifting COVID-19 restrictions by resuming dine-in operations for restaurants. This is the first phase of a three-phase plan. If coronavirus cases remain under the expected trend, the allowed occupancy rate will be lifted from 33 percent in Phase I to 67 percent in Phase II. Phase III would be a return to pre-pandemic operations. Aside from limited occupancy in Phase I, restaurants will be required or encouraged to do the following: physically distance patrons and tables from each other; take reservations; have staff and patrons wear face coverings during the ordering process; have staff wear gloves and screen them daily; not serve groups of 10 or more people; offer pre-ordering when possible; host a senior hour; ban self-service; not allow congregation in bars and live entertainment; and clean and sanitize tables between patrons.

Communicating with Employees
Develop a plan now for when workers can get back to work in full operation mode and communicate this planning to all associates. It should be focused on mission critical projects. Business leaders will need to re-evaluate processes and their supporting systems for scalability. Operations will need to continue complying with the lingering requirements when headcounts are reduced, while it begins to ramp up the business operations as stores re-open. Distribution centers and warehouses will be recovering from overload and burnout as they recover from the excessive demand during the pandemic. Lastly, HR will be left with a talent gap that will eventually need to be filled – how this is communicated will need to be handled with sensitivity.

Faced with common challenges, owners and occupiers have a unique opportunity to come together in the true spirit of collaboration. We are already seeing it play out, and we believe there is no better path to successfully manage the complexity of the road that lies ahead. 

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