Here’s a list of how area chambers of commerce are guiding businesses as they reopen

On June 11 the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners voted that Johnson County will follow voluntary recommendations for reopening businesses. These guidelines include precautionary measures like wearing a mask in public and maintaining physical distancing whenever possible. Above a sign outside the French Market in Prairie Village advertises the business is open following COVID-19 shutdowns. 

When Gov. Laura Kelly removed the executive order from Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas and returned the power to enforce COVID-19 prevention to the counties, Johnson County decided against making requirements and instead created voluntary recommendations for reopening businesses and social distancing.

Some area chambers of commerce have laid out best practices for reopening for their members.

Here is a summary of the recommendations.

Northeast Johnson County

The Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, which serves several cities and townships in the area, maintains a list of businesses that stayed open through the pandemic or have started reopening.

The chamber has also made a number of resources available, including industry-specific guidance and tips for keeping employees safe as businesses in the area start to ramp up activities.

Leawood

Leawood Chamber & Economic Development Council president Kevin Jeffries said the chamber has been doing a lot to help members navigate the complexities of reopening during a pandemic, including hosting a webinar “with several industry experts.”

“We are encouraging our members to follow CDC, State, County guidelines, as well as guidelines issued by their specific industry or regulatory agency,” Jeffries said. “All of these resources are available to members and non-members alike for them to utilize, and we are always here to connect  businesses with the individual resources they need.”

Additionally, the chamber published an 18-page document that has specific guidelines and recommendations for restaurants, retail and other businesses as they reopen.

Lenexa

“Throughout the pandemic we have been supporting our membership (and the broader community) through a page on our website dedicated to COVID-related information and resources,” Ashley Sherard, vice president for the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce, said.

The Lenexa Chamber of Commerce regularly updates the central landing page that includes links to financial assistance programs for small businesses and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on proper precautions for reopening a business.

“To promote safe reopening, we have been encouraging and advising member businesses to refer to our COVID resource page for specific reopening guidance and best practices from health experts and other trusted sources,” Sherard said.

Overland Park

The Overland Park Chamber of Commerce created a new page for pandemic-related business best practices and resources. Additionally, the website includes information about local businesses that are reopening for patrons and advice for applying for small business or payroll protection loans.

“We’ve worked to connect people to resources, and in some cases, pointed businesses to specific trade organizations who are very specific to business-type with guidance,” Tracey Osborne Oltjen, chamber president, said.

Shawnee

Dana Huebner, owner of New Hope Chiropractic, 16314 W 65th St., holds a poster provided by the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce.

Dustin Wolfe, communications manager for the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber built a “reopening toolkit” full of local resources, national guidance and other tips.

“The toolkit has resources we collected from partner chambers around the country and some of our specific information too,” Wolfe said. “It helps businesses build out action and business plans to respond and reopen amid COVID, helps them identify symptoms and also has some easy to use printable signage as well.”

The chamber is also giving members posters to help patrons identify which businesses are reopening. The posters could also “reassure their customers and employees that they are following the health and safety guidelines too,” Wolfe said.