At some point, I’m sure, we have all felt very frustrated by our current federal government over the lack of direction during this entire pandemic and primarily for how to re-open our nation’s businesses safely. While this new way of life – social-distancing, etc. – will continue for months, and possibly years to come, businesses need to know how to run efficiently and safely moving forward – and they need to know now.
Thanks to LinkedIn, I have seen multiple associations that are providing suggested guidelines for businesses to prepare to open back up. The first association guidelines I saw was put out by the American Industrial Hygiene Association. Their COVID response site, backtoworksafely.org, is full of information and provides information broken down by service area. It is helpful not only for their members but for many different industries. For personal reasons, I also came across the American Camp Association’s Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidelines on their website and found it extremely helpful.
In many instances, these associations are releasing these guidelines before the federal government and the states themselves. For example, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) released suggested guidelines on April 22, while the state of Georgia – one of the first states to re-open – did not release suggestions until April 23, just 4 days before reopening the state’s restaurants. I would add that NRA’s Georgia chapter also released the NRA guide to its members on its own website.
Associations are continuing to prove their usefulness and value not only to their members but also to consumers. We tend to think of associations as lobbying organizations, advocating for appropriate legislation or monitoring existing regulations, however, to see associations lead businesses back to work in this confusing time is inspiring. Not only are these efforts by associations appropriate and necessary to the industry, and not just their existing members, but it will also plant the seeds of faithful members for life.