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Following Governor Raimondo’s press briefing today, What’s Up Newp asked, “What can restaurants, stores, and other non-essential customer facing businesses do right now (while closed) in order to be best prepared for the new normal/for when you do give them some kind of green light?”

If you’d prefer to watch the Governor respond to the question, you can do so below (starts at 27:40);

Governor’s Response

“That’s a really good question. So while we don’t know exactly what the new regulations will be, and by the way we’re in heavy discussion with restaurant owners, hoteliers, and such to get their feedback, hairdressers and the like, there are a few things that we do know. We do know that there’s going to have be some version of social distancing for the next year or until we have a virus or therapy so start to think about how you can change the layout of your shop or your restaurant. Maybe you’re going to have to take tables out, but just figure out a way, the rule of thumb of people being six feet apart is still a good one and so start to make plans in your own mind around how to reconfigure what you have, whatever you operate, in order to make it so people can have more space,” Raimondo said.

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The Governor continued, “Similarly maybe think about, we’re almost certainly going to have to do some form or temperature checking so you might want to think about that, how you would go about that”.

“Think about how you would change your shifts of workers. Again, the world we’re living in right now we’re supposed to be now being together, hanging around with, working together with the same five people every day. That principal, and you know at some point it’s going to be more than five, but that basic principal is going to be the same thing. You’re always going to want to be physically with the smallest number of people as possible. So think about how you can arrange the shifts of your employees so people are with the fewest number of workers as possible”, the Governor said.

“If you haven’t already figured out how to do a better job with technology to enable for online ordering, online purchasing, online reservations, now’s the time to that. Call Commerce 521-HELP we have lots of tech volunteers who are willing to help you figure out how to do that, help you make a website, help you make an online reservation system. All that stuff. This is a great opportunity to think about how to tech enable your business to enable people working form home wherever possible, selling things online, making reservations online. You really want to make those investment now,” the Governor continued.

“Think about cleaning. There’s going to have be whole new measurements around daily disinfecting. You can read up on what’s being suggested and how you might be able to do that,” the Governor said.”I think it’s a good question, I wish I had an absolute answer for you right now we’re still going through the work. But those are the kids of things you should be thinking about if only to get yourself, and your employees, in the mindset of living in a new normal”.

“Final thing I’ll say is we’re going to have to give people confidence. People are going to have to have some confidence to come out of their house and go shopping and go to restaurants so the better you do of making your place of work safe the the more likely it is that people will have the confidence to go there”, the Governor concluded.

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