How Businesses In Missoula Are Putting Customers First As They Reopen Post C-19

Missoula is open for business- with a few changes. As Missoula businesses welcome customers back after C-19, they have had to make some significant changes to the way they do business. While many Missoula businesses are capitalizing on online shopping in the last few months, many small businesses are also depending on in-store sales to see them through. As businesses slowly reopen, they are taking multiple steps to implement strict safety and health policies and ensure the residents of Missoula remain healthy and safe in the post-C-19 period.

Staggering  Business And Employer Capacities

To maintain control and social distancing while operating safely, many businesses in Missoula are asking consumers to either shop by appointment or are staggering the number of customers they can have on-premises. In phase 1, the county’s recommendations for retail businesses were to reduce capacity by 50 percent. That has since increased to 75 percent under Missoula’s Phase 2 reopening plan. Many local businesses have chosen to continue with these guidelines. One good example is Action Auto Body, which requests customers to wait outside the premises while their estimate is prepared. The business has also implemented the disinfection of vehicles before handing it back to customers.

The Implementation Of PreShift Health Assessments And Plans For Sanitization Of High Traffic Areas

As apart of the reopening guidelines for businesses and employers,  the Missoula City-County Health Department, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the State of Montana recommend businesses implement several health and safety measures before reopening their doors. These recommendations apply to all businesses in the county. One of those requirements is the regular conduct of pre-shift health assessments of employees. Businesses can access a Covid-19 Pre- Shift Screening Checklist from the Center for Disease Control or the county health website.

Another recommendation for the reopening of businesses is the implementation of an amended workplace health and safety policies on sanitization and disinfection of business premises. Businesses have also had to submit their plans for employee testing, contact tracing, and virus sanitization of the workplace if a case has been identified. Specific businesses like barbershops and hairdressers are also required to submit a Personal Care Service Plan, which addresses the use of Personal Protection Equipment, employee testing, and an enhanced cleaning and sanitization plan.

Curbside And No Contact Delivery Options Being Introduced

To minimize customer exposure, businesses are also introducing curbside pickups and no contact delivery options for consumers. While the service was initially rolled out for restaurants, cafes, and eateries other businesses have now joined in. For instance, Cats On Broadway Veterinary Hospital has reopened for services via curbside pick-ups while the Green Auto Group is offering free grocery or medication pickups for those who are isolating or high risk.

That being said, it is not business as normal for Missoula county as yet. Over the coming months, businesses and customers alike will have to adapt to what is now being coined as ‘the new normal.’ However, with Missoula’s businesses being so proactive and making changes to operate safely post Covid-19, it seems they are on the right track.