Preparing & Responding to COVID-19 While Continuing to Support Our Local Business
Morgantown Area Partnership Statement as of Friday, March 13, 2020
The Morgantown Area Partnership is working together with Monongalia County Health Department and several other community stakeholders to streamline communications during the COVID-19 situation. The Partnership has been invited to access Monongalia County’s Joint Information Center (JIC), the health department’s information hub, which will have formal check-ins twice a week.
We have created a resource page for business owners and members, bringing together information from the CDC, Monongalia County Health Department and other local and national resources: map-wv.org/covid-19
While the situation remains fluid, there are still no cases of the virus in West Virginia as of March 13, 2020. You can stay up to date by visiting the WV Department of Health & Human Resources COVID-19 testing and update page.
We must recognize the impact that current events will have on area businesses. The Partnership remains steadfast in support of our membership. Please continue to shop local and support our members and businesses.
We will make every effort to continue with our regularly scheduled programs to support our local businesses. As always, the health and safety of everyone who will be attending these events is of vital importance. We will continue to monitor the situation and update our members of any changes to the schedule.
To protect our membership and attendees, we will:
- implement preventative practices by providing hand sanitizer at our registration table, as well as offering access to antibacterial wipes and facial tissues.
- ask that if you are feeling sick, or have reason such as those listed below, to rest at home. We will see you at future networking opportunities.
Tuesday, March 17 (8:30 am – 10 am) : Business Before Hours at Panera Bread Evansdale
Wednesday, March 18 (5:30 pm – 7 pm): Business After Hours at Sargasso
Friday, March 20 (Noon): Ribbon Cutting at Dockside Grill (formerly Crab Shack Caribba – Cheat Lake)
We ask that you please do not attend if you or anyone in your household has:
- Flu-like symptoms, the common cold, sinus infection, etc.
- Symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath: CDC’s Information.
- Have been notified by medical or public health personnel that you are being assessed or monitored for the virus;
- Been advised by medical or public health authorities that you are at increased risk and should self-monitor;
- Traveled in the past 14 days to any Warning Level 2 or 3 location listed on the CDC Travel Notices webpage.
These precautions are being put in place to ensure that you and all our attendees stay healthy.
Regardless, we ask you to take the advice of the CDC, including:
- Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home if you’re sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
- Clean surfaces in your home and personal items, such as cell phones, using regular household products.
- Consider an “elbow bump” instead of a hug or handshake.
We hope to maintain business as usual, but also want to ensure we’re aligning with best practices to do all we can to keep our community healthy.
Local Business Support
With the impacts of COVID-19 on our local business community already in effect, in addition to good hand hygiene and common-sense precautions with your employees and patrons, the Morgantown Area Partnership encourages all local businesses to consider the following:
- For your business: Prepare for negative economic impacts.
- Capital: Create, confirm or expand your line of credit.
- Staffing: Develop staffing plans for varying levels of customers and revenue.
- Insurance: Check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and options.
- For your customers: Make your place of business as hygienic as possible and communicate what you are doing to customers so they feel comfortable visiting.
- For your employees: Check, modify and communicate HR policies regarding remote working, sick-leave and compensation during health crisis. Try to ensure your policies are as flexible and non-punitive as possible. Sick employees should be encouraged to stay home.
- For your workflow: Cross-train employees for key functions so that daily schedules can continue relatively uninterrupted by potential employee absences. Where relevant, consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time; and create and test remote employee collaboration systems (consider apps such as Slack and Zoom).
- For your cashflow: Communicate with your landlord (or tenants) and lenders about expectations and request flexibility (better to have that conversation now).
- For yourself: Eat well, sleep and exercise. Taking care of yourself in this time of stress will improve your resistance to infection and resilience in managing difficult business situations. And of course, wash your hands and don’t touch your face, or anyone else, for that matter.
- For the Partnership: For us to best serve you, we need to know and share what our members are doing to manage risks. To that end, please tell us what what’s working and what you need from us!
We’d like to keep an open communication with our members. How is your business preparing for the containment efforts? How is your business affected by these changes? What additional do you need from the Partnership?
Please contact the Morgantown Area Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org with what your efforts and actions are, and what we can do to assist you further.
The Morgantown Area Partnership office will remain operational in order to continue to serve our members. Please stay alert for updates on events, news and resources to help your business weather this trying time.
President & CEO, Morgantown Area Partnership
Phone: 304-292-3311 ext. 1010