Here is a copy of a letter I hope to send to Gov. Inslee and local leaders.
Dear Gov. Inslee, Regional and Local Government Officials.
Thank you all for the incredible job you have done regarding the COVID 19 pandemic. While “Stay Home Stay Safe” has been a tremendous hardship for all of us in Washington State, it was necessary and important to slow the spread of this deadly virus. As a business owner, I along with many, have been hit hard and all of us look forward to the next steps in the process of ‘returning to normal’. Of course public health needs to remain the primary concern. So then the question becomes first not WHEN but HOW can we begin to get back to work, while still keeping people safe.
I would like to ask you to begin to consider proposals from local business owners and leaders on ways we believe we can reopen portions of our businesses or business segments. This is not envisioned as a broad restart, but rather a gradual phasing in where it can be assured that social distancing and other precautions to prevent the spread of COVID 19 can be safely implemented. For example, for fairly low volume walk-in retail business people could visit by appointment only and interact with the store personal from a safe distance. At an auto dealership a customer could pull in, be directed to a location away from others and take a test drive without a salesperson in the vehicle. Or a restaurant could remove a portion of their tables to adhere to a ten foot rule and only seat patrons with confirmed reservations waiting in their cars until notified by text. These are only examples, and actual details of how a business might propose to modify their operations is best derived from the businesses themselves.
Washington State has been at the forefront of this crisis and we now have the opportunity to be at the forefront of the economic recovery. Please I hope you will consider the input of local business owners and begin making plans NOW as to how we get Washington working again while keeping paramount the safety of our customers, fellow workers and our families.
Ed Steenman, Small Business Owner Everett, Washington