Preparing for Reopening
Our team has aggregated helpful resources to help navigate through the COVID-19 crisis around the reopening of your business. We'll be continuing to keep this page updated so be sure to check back frequently.
The state will be opening in four phases based on health data with each phase lasting a minimum of three weeks. On May 25th, retail (remote fulfillment & curb-side) and services (hair, pet, car) were allowed to reopen with restrictions on capacity. Retail, restaurants, personal services (nail salons and spas by appointment only), and healthcare (dental etc.) may open with restrictions and some capacity limitations in Phase 2 of the plan which has no date associated yet. In phase 3, bars, fitness & gyms may open with restrictions and some capacity limitations which has no date yet. Phase 4 will be noted as the "new normal" where full resumption of all business will resume. More info can be found at mass.gov/reopening
In order to reopen, businesses must develop a written COVID-19 Control Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. Required Materials are located on mass.gov/reopening which include a plan template.
Supply vendors for the workplace can be found here
Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards for Reopening (source: mass.gov)
- All persons, including employees, customers, and vendors should remain at least six feet apart to the greatest extent possible, both inside and outside workplaces
- Establish protocols to ensure that employees can practice adequate social distancing
- Provide signage for safe social distancing
- Require face coverings or masks for all employees
- Provide hand washing capabilities throughout the workplace
- Ensure frequent hand washing and ensure adequate supplies
- Provide regular sanitation of high touch areas, such as workstations, equipment,screens, doorknobs, restrooms throughout work site
- Provide training for employees regarding the social distancing and hygiene protocols
- Employees who are displaying COVID-19-like symptoms do not report to work
- Establish a plan for employees getting ill from COVID-19 at work, and a return-to-work plan
- Establish and maintain cleaning protocols specific to the business
- When an active employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, cleaning and disinfecting must be performed
- Disinfection of all common surfaces must take place at intervals appropriate to said workplace
On May 11, barbers and hair salons were allowed to reopen as long as customers have reservations and there are no more than 10 people in the salon, including staff. Customers and employees must wear face masks. Retail shops also opened on May 11 to customers but will be limited to 50% occupancy and employees must wear face masks. Restaurants will reopen on May 18, but only with outdoor seating options. Tables must be 6 feet apart, only six people can be seated at a table and servers must have cloth face coverings. nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/business
As of May 9th, retail stores and specialty care were permitted to open if they comply with rules like cleaning frequently, reducing capacity, and screening employees. Restaurants are limited to delivery and takeout. Outdoor dining might be permitted in Phase 1. Gyms, salons, and barber shops remain closed.
- Reopening Rhode Island is a great site with plentiful resources
- More RI business information: https://health.ri.gov/covid/for/business/
- Outdoor Dining Phase 1 Illustration
Helpful Tips and Checklists
- International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) COVID-19 Re-Opening Best Practices
- American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHA) 'Back to Work Safely'
- Inc. Magazine's 'What Not to Do When You Reopen Your Business'
- Inc. Magazine's 'The Reopening Challenge: 5 Tips for Getting Back to Business'
- National Retail Federation 'Operation Open Doors Checklist'
- National Restaurant Association Coronavirus reopening guide for restaurant industry
- The Kroger Co. 'Sharing What We've Learned: A Blueprint for Businesses'
Social Media Toolkit and Editable Flyer, Window Sign & Stickers
The Linear Marketing Team put together a toolkit to help market your business once you reopen. Items include: graphics for social media - Instagram and Facebook, window decal graphic, an editable flyer, and sticker graphics for stickers to leave at your register. We've also included the industry's new iconic "Back. Together." emblem on items. It is the official graphic from our trade organization, ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers). Don't forget to include hashtags on all your posts: #shoplocal #backtogether2020
CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) printable resources including: posters for your business, Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands poster in various languages.
Social Media Graphics Zip File Download Here
Over 50 images to choose from, sampling below:
Window Sign, We're Open Download Here
24" x 36"
Editable Flyer Download Here
8.5" x 11"
Sticker designs to send to a printer Download Here
Marketing Ideas For Your BusinessRethink Your Approach
- Stay engaged with customers as much as possible!
- Be sure that your business stays active...digitally at least, even if you are not deemed as having an "essential business"
- Think about what the customer needs now….air purifiers, water coolers, lounge clothes, haircut tutorial, home exercise etc. If your bricks and mortar location is still closed, what can you sell online?
- Re-allocate staff to web-chat or cold calling
- Rethink the naming of items you offer to be more fun and relevant
- Create a Shopify account if needed
- Update your website (new hours, new staff roles, COVID-19 messaging)
- Add chat to your website
- Video calling capabilities like Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Houseparty
- Call clients to reschedule
- For service related tenants: If you’re providing something online/social - put your Venmo (or other payment method) on your updates to accept tips
- Setup Facebook Messenger
- Check your social media direct messages and be sure to respond
- Setup a WhatsApp Business profile
- Prepare a list of FAQs and post them to your website
- Text messaging with a customer: you could operate in your retail space while they're safely texting from their car in the parking lot
Curbside Pickup and Delivery For Restaurants
- Pair menu items together to create larger meals that customers can order with one click or create dinner kits for families to assemble at home
- Promote your new items daily on social media
- Update your menus on your website
- Include "order ahead" to promote new items earlier in the day
- Add "sold out" text to items that you ran out of on your menu so people can see that what you're offering is popular
- GrubHub, UberEats and Doordash weren't collecting commission fees from local/independent restaurants for delivery in the beginning of quarantine, check to see if this is still running
- Toast, the restaurant POS system is offering their tools for free for the next three months to create an online menu and delivery capabilities, a mobile app and e-gift cards. More info here
- Create a gift card link on your website and send social media updates with the new availability
- If you're a restaurant, utilize the free gift card posting site on Toast's #RallyforRestaurants page
- Kabbage is also offering a free gift card portal for restaurants
- Many other retailers other than restaurants have been utilizing e-gift cards too
For Service Oriented Retailers - Tutorials and How To's
- Build connections with your customers and clients by offering daily/weekly tutorials or how to sessions on Facebook or Instagram Live
- Book one-on-one consultations/video appointments and include your Venmo (or any payment method) name for tips
- Ex. Hair Salon: How to do a simple trim or haircut, book one-on-one consultations to go over how to apply store bought hair color or how to get rid of greys
- Ex. Nail Salon: How to safely soak off a gel or acrylic manicure
- Ex. Fitness: At-home workouts, live-streaming classes
- Send Linear Retail content you want featured on our Instagram Story (daily) @LinearRetail or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Reach out to local influencers
- Post an employee shout-out with a photo and description as to how they're doing a great job and thanking them
- Celebrate a hometown hero
- Work on your portfolio, ex. Hair Salon, upload all those client photo cuts you’ve been meaning to
- Hashtags to include: #supportlocal #covidresources #cometogether #socialdistancing #backtogether #takeouttogether
- Start a challenge and include a hasthtag then tag friends/clients to participate