Jeremy Johnson

Jeremy Johnson

While we cannot predict the future or know exactly how things will go as we navigate this entirely new existence and economy brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we at least know this: Even if it won’t be business as usual, we all have a part to play getting doors open again.

Companies are run differently. People expect a new consumer experience. So, as states begin to lay out plans for industries to open, what should we do as individuals to help our local economies?

The Better Business Bureau encourages businesses to open their lines of communication wider than ever before. This benefits both companies and their customers. Clear marketing in many channels — from phone calls to emails to social media and beyond — lets people know the safety measures being put into place and how the business is working to protect employees and those who come through the doors.

We have seen businesses all across our region pivoting to keep their customer's safety a priority while simultaneously helping their business thrive. From curbside pick up to free delivery to repair technicians in full protective gear, local companies are stepping up to show their customers they are prepared and care about their safety.

It is vital for customers who are entering a store to realize one of the best ways to support the local economy is to commit to following the safety guidelines to protect those who are working.

While customers do their part to protect workers they interact with, many businesses must continue to have a plan for their employees. The plans may consist of continuing to offer remote working, as well as having some flexibility with working from home, as schools have closed for the year. It will be more critical than ever for companies to have employees they know and trust. There will be additional stress and uncertainties on businesses as they get up and running again. The added pressure of having to train and get new employees up to speed can be more stressful and time-consuming than some operations have time for.

The key for all of us in this situation is to be patient — patient for businesses who are adapting to a new climate and safety regulations. Patient for consumers who are maneuvering a new way to shop and interact with companies.

Communication and patience are and will continue to be critical factors to help get back to a new normal and to a place where businesses and consumers can thrive.

Jeremy Johnson is the eastern Idaho marketplace manager for Better Business Bureau, serving the Northwest and Pacific. Contact her by emailing jeremy.johnson@thebbb.org.

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