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Not Business As Usual

Throughout the first half of 2020, people have focused their attention on the global pandemic that has seemingly taken control of society. COVID-19 has become the main topic of most people’s daily conversations, the subject that news outlets are focusing on, and unfortunately, a major source of anxiety for many.

Although there are many business owners who are eager reopen their offices, restaurants and stores, this isn’t the case for everyone. People’s reluctance to ease off social distancing can stem from their fear of contracting the virus or giving it their loved ones, some of whom may be immunocompromised. In this blog series, I will be focusing on a range of businesses within the Fox Cities and how all types are being forced to adapt to this international pandemic. 

The reality for many is that businesses are now opening up again and employees are making a difficult choice to go back in order to make an income again; the average person can’t afford to stay at home any longer. After the Supreme Court overturned Wisconsin’s stay at home order, businesses have quickly begun to reopen. While this may seem like it will help save the economy, sudden business openings could be problematic.

The national guidelines established by the CDC for business reopenings are only meant to supplement local regulations, which in themselves aren’t strict. As a result of this, it is up to local businesses to decide when they will open up again and the types of changes that they will implement to ensure safety for their customers and employees. These new safety protocols will have to cover a wide variety of concerns, ranging from making masks mandatory, setting a limit on the number of people allowed inside, and instituting new or stricter methods of sanitation. Some businesses have begun to set in place more unusual guidelines, such as age limitations and the amount of time a customer is allowed inside.

If businesses truly want to gain back their customers, they may have to give them incentives to shop from them instead of shopping online or refraining from making such purchases at all. What is most important, however, is for businesses to ease their customers’ worries by implementing the necessary guidelines to ensure safety for everyone. These businesses that will be discussed in this blog series will range from restaurants and coffee shops to landscaping and contracting services and even art venues. By interviewing local business owners and employees, I will be uncovering the types of guidelines that these businesses have implemented as well as how these local businesses have suffered and whether or not they have a positive outlook on the future. 

Stay tuned for my first post in this series looking at how farmers’ markets within the Fox Cities are adapting to COVID-19 through strict, yet crucial protocols.

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