Safe Southern Utah campaign aims to balance public health with business needs

ST. GEORGE — In an effort to create a balance between keeping the local economy open and fostering an environment of health and safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce has crafted a new campaign for businesses and individuals.

Safe Southern Utah was launched in collaboration with other local business leaders, including Southern Utah Home Builders Association, SkyWest Airlines, Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center and the Associated General Contractors of Utah. The campaign was designed “by Southern Utahns for Southern Utahns” to address the area’s need to support business while also helping local customers and tourists alike feel safe in restaurants, shops, hotels and more.

Learn more about the Safe Southern Utah campaign in the media player at the top of this report.

Don Willie, president and CEO of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce, told St. George News how businesses are pledging to put customers and employees first and what community members can do to help keep Southern Utah open for business while being respectful of public health.

“This is a chance for us to come together and say, ‘Public health is very important, but the economy is also very important,'” Willie said, “and so we want to make sure we are balancing that through this campaign.”

The premise of the campaign is simple: Southern Utah business owners and managers can go to the Safe Southern Utah website and take the pledge to do their part to keep customers and employees safe by following these five best practices:

  • Ensure employees are wearing face masks and other personal protective equipment when needed.
  • Observe social distancing, including spacing customers or clients according to state guidelines.
  • Check employees daily for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Promote healthy hygiene, including frequent hand washing.
  • Clean high touch surfaces frequently.

Businesses who take the pledge are invited to pick up a free Safe Southern Utah poster packet at the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce, 136 N. 100 East. Downloadable copies are also provided once the business has taken the pledge.

Posters can be displayed in store fronts and prominent spaces for customers to see that their health and safety is important to the participating business.

Safe Southern Utah frame | Image courtesy of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce, St. George News

The Safe Southern Utah website is also a “one stop shop” for COVID resources for businesses, including information about grants and additional tools, such as health and safety information.

The website also includes ways that individual community members can show their support.

“It really is a community effort,” Willie said.

He added that small businesses are the backbone of our community, and individuals can show their support not only by shopping and dining at these businesses but also supporting them in their efforts to provide a safe environment while staying open.

Residents who want to participate in the campaign are invited to go to the website and print out a Safe Southern Utah frame where they can write what they are doing as an individual to keep people safe and who they are doing it for and then share it on social media using the hashtag #safesouthernutah, Willie said.

“We’re a community, and we’re all in this together, and regardless of your political beliefs or political leanings, this is about helping each other out,” he said. “This about watching for each other, having each other’s backs.”

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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