The Enterprise Tourism Department, Main Street program, Chamber of Commerce and the Enterprise Fire Department are teaming up to help businesses in the reopening process after a month-long business shutdown.

Retail stores were allowed to reopen May 1, according to the latest amendment to Gov. Kay Ivey’s COVID-19 safety orders. The businesses are allowed to open under strict guidelines regarding occupancy and six-foot distancing and other sanitation standards.

The governor also requested that local fire marshals have the responsibility of regulating the occupancy load for the businesses. Enterprise Fire Chief Byron Herring is the City Fire Marshal and said he is more than happy to help businesses determine the occupancy requirements and the distancing rules based on a variety of factors.

“There can be lots of variables but maintaining the 6-foot distancing rule is going to be first and foremost,” he said.

After the governor’s announcement April 28 that retail stores could reopen, local business leaders expressed concern about how to reach customers with the knowledge that specific rules would need to be followed to meet the state orders.

Enterprise Tourism Director Tammy Doerer and Main Street Program Director Cassidi Kendrick said business owners are diligently working to comply with the safety orders because they want to keep their customers safe while also providing a pleasant shopping experience.

Doerer, Kendrick, Chamber Executive Director Erin Grantham and Herring put their heads together and designed an informational sign that is being distributed to any business who wants to use and reproduce it to help direct traffic in their stores in the safest way.

The sign proclaims what the businesses are trying to do for their customers. It can be placed on the store windows or doors to remind shoppers to “Stay six feet away from others,” “Wear a mask if you have one,” and “Sanitize your hands often,” among other advice.”

Kendrick said the city is mindful that small businesses in particular are burdened in many ways because of this unforeseen crisis.

“Producing the sign is a way we could take one more task off their plates as they restart the inside store operation,” Kendrick said.

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