The team at Ivio Agency is eager to get out and support our local community. To that end, we have produced this comprehensive guide for navigating the re-opening phase of our local downtown economy. Now is the time to show support to your local businesses located in the heart of downtown Phoenix that have grown into a close-knit community over the years.
Now imagine our beloved downtown without your favorite spots. Or, consider the thought of strolling through your neighborhood and seeing doors shut among empty buildings, for good. The idea is heartbreaking for the entire community, especially when thinking about what the hard-working business owners would lose.
But right now YOU can make the difference and show your support to these local businesses.
Without a doubt… it is scary to step outside of your home these days. There’s a lot at stake. If we aren’t careful and intentional, more lives can be lost. Yes, it is that serious.
But, with some forethought and the right precautions, we can protect ourselves all while showing support to our beloved local businesses.
Remember, it is important to stay safe and always take the necessary precautions, but make sure you are also enjoying yourself and having fun!
Things to Keep in Mind When Venturing Out
Be a role model and wear your mask.
Even though masks are not mandatory (except for a few stores like Costco), it is still respectful to wear them. Don’t worry about looking silly, they have all different types of designs out there to meet your style. Plus, you will be supporting small businesses that make the majority of these cloth masks!
Not into spending money on a mask? There are also helpful tutorials out there to make your own masks at home with things like bandanas and socks (just make sure they are not used socks).
Be a patron saint of sterilization, disinfect everything.
When you are out and about, do your part in keeping everything sanitized! This means avoid touching your face, especially when wearing a mask or gloves.
If you are shopping at a store that doesn’t sterilize their carts, do it yourself! It takes no time to wipe down your cart. Most stores have instructions on their sterilization process, so be sure to be familiar with these and follow them accordingly.
We know it is fun to touch anything and everything when out shopping, but avoid doing that. You can browse, but keep your hands to yourself.
Wash yo’ self
While you are at it, make sure you disinfect yourself, too! This means washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” to make it fun, plus let’s be honest, we all miss baseball.
If you are unable to wash your hands, lather up with that hand sanitizer.
Still not quite sure how to properly wash your hands? This helpful video has you covered!
Another pro tip to staying clean is to wipe down the bottoms of your shoes before stepping into your house. You might as well cover all of your bases while coming in and out of your home.
You can disinfect yourself and clothes – remove them before entering your home and spray yourself down with Lysol! And, don’t forget to wash that mask after each time you are out.
Do Your Part and Stay Apart
Yes, follow that minimum six-foot rule! Who knew the saying, “I wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot pole” would become standard operating procedure one day.
Most stores have marked spots to make sure you are keeping your distance. Make sure to be respectful of others’ space and follow these rules by not getting too close.
Some tips on practicing social distancing:
- Rearrange your current workspace if you’re unable to work from home (this is the time for cubicles to shine)
- Avoid events with large amounts of people (put those parties on hold and jump on the party parade train. Many people around the country have organized car parades so we can still celebrate milestones while practicing social distancing)
- Practice frequent and thorough hand washing (Cue “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”…)
- Stay six feet apart from anyone at all times (be courteous of those around you)
For more extensive social distancing tips, check out the CDC’s website.
Don’t forget your handkerchief (Your pandemic swiss army knife!):
- It might not be the best, but can be used as a mask in a pinch (watch those tutorials!)
- Help avoid touching surfaces directly (especially helpful when getting gas)
- Can block the sun on your neck/head (it’s getting hot out there, hello triple digits)
- Can wipe the sweat away. That mask will be sweaty in the heat.
Like with anything in life, be prepared! Things must go smoothly during this reopening phase. The life of some businesses even depends on it. So, know what you are getting into when going into stores, restaurants, and other open spots.
Venturing Out Preparation Checklist
- Bring a handkerchief
- Have a shopping list ready if possible
- Look for guidance from the business on their website and social media pages
- Call ahead with any questions
- Look at Google! Store hours are updated and you can usually find out policies like if they are offering take out or delivery options. We have noticed businesses have been pretty good at keeping up with this information on Google.
Make sure to bring your halo because you may need to have the patience of an angel when out and about. Things take time, especially the re-opening phase. Businesses are going to have strict and special guidelines that must be followed. Remember, you get more with honey than vinegar.
People are nervous, scared, and in varying degrees of compliance with best practices due to a myriad of reasons. You are sure to see people not adhering to or practicing the best habits when out and about.
Don’t attack these people. People are rarely convinced to change their habits by being shamed, ridiculed, or criticized. There is no need to say anything to them or belittle them. Just continue to do what you can to be safe. It is all about self-responsibility.
And of course, you can’t forget the workers. Most of the workers at stores such as the grocery store are working long and hard hours. It is not their fault they are out of toilet paper, so don’t take it out on them. They have to follow guidelines just like you, so try to show some compassion.
At all times, you should be kind and courteous, remember these are your neighbors after all. If you must confront someone about something, be mindful of how you communicate your message. People are more likely to respond in a neighborly way if you phrase things as a request versus a demand. Do not underestimate how much this can make a difference when navigating through this new normal.
It’s Not Just What You Say, But How You Say It
The old saying is true. What you say and how you say it really makes a difference.
Good Example: Would you mind giving me a little more space? (Phrase it as a simple request.)
Bad Example: Can you back-up? You are too close. (Don’t phrase it as a demand.)
With everyone’s emotions at an all-time high right now, it is best to try to avoid any confrontation.
Pro Tips for Patronizing Your Phoenix Faves
Support your local faves!
Local businesses need us now more than ever. Now is the time to show your commitment to your community.
Restaurants, small businesses, local gyms – some may have been open, others are opening their doors after weeks of being closed. They need your help to stay afloat. Just because their doors are now open, they are not out of the woods yet.
When supporting your favorite restaurants, we recommend calling in or placing your order online ahead of time to verify hours of operation as things are constantly changing. Remember, most businesses are updating their hours and take-out options online, so that’s a great place to start.
Buy gift cards
Believe it or not, gift cards are going to become a big help for small businesses.
Don’t need a service or product right now? Gift cards are the answer, plus, they make a great gift.
Show your support now and enjoy it later!
Gift cards are not limited to restaurants. Salons, cafes, stores, and movie theaters are great places to purchase a gift card.
This is extremely helpful for businesses that are unable to open right away, every dollar helps them in a time like this.
Leave a Review
Positive reviews are always helpful for a business, but especially now. Are you impressed with the smooth transition? Or maybe how they took care of their employees during the pandemic? Or maybe they always kept you up to date. Let them know how much you appreciate them!
We learned something one time that we always try to preach, if you like something about someone (or in this case, a business), tell them! Saying something nice could make their day or in this case, save their business.
Positive reviews go further than you might think for small businesses. People turn to Yelp, Google, Facebook, and other social media outlets for reviews. From restaurants to salons to stores, there is no shame in bragging about your experience.
Not only will your words brighten their day, but reviews can also drive much-appreciated traffic to them.
Don’t Forget the Farmers
Don’t forget the people behind the scene! All industries have been hit hard.
Although many farmer’s markets throughout the U.S. are closed due to the pandemic, products and food from their crops are still available online in many cases.
In Arizona specifically, a few farmer’s markets are starting to re-open under strict guidelines, while some remain closed for the time being.
You can check out this list to learn more about which farmer’s markets are open.
You could be the reason some of those glorious produce doesn’t go to waste!
Tips for Social Distancing in the Sun
With these new regulations in place, we might find ourselves standing in line and sometimes outdoors which means in the heat.
This is not such great news for us Arizonans, especially with us already seeing those triple digits. Nonetheless, we’ll want to support our local business, because well, the alternative is them having to close their doors. So we prepared for you some helpful reminders on how to social distance in the sun safely.
The Essential Arizona Sun Checklist
- Have a cold bottle of water with you
- Bring an umbrella for shade!
- Don’t forget your SPF protection
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Rock those stylish sunglasses
- Wear a hat to cover your face and head
We hope that by practicing these tips, you’ll be able to support our beloved local community safely, while also encouraging others to follow suit.
The fear of spreading COVID-19 is real, but the fear of your community shutting down and suffering is a comparable threat.
Remember, the fate of downtown Phoenix is in your hands. Some of you have probably got to know the workers at some of your most-loved spots. This is a trying time for them, but the community can band together to show support to these businesses. This is a good deed. Especially when you are doing it safely.
These truly are unprecedented times, but if we can work together and show our support to the community, we will be able to come out of this stronger and closer than ever.
Ivio Agency is a long-standing development partner of DPJ.