Snohomish County businesses and organizations preparing for the next phases of opening under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan can tap a new online toolkit to help them safely emerge from the COVID-19 shutdown.

The City of Everett, in partnership with the Snohomish Health District, has launched the Getting to Safe toolkit to provide baseline recommendations, resources and practical tools to help ease the reopening process.

Similarly, the Association of Washington Business (AWB) has launched a free website, Rebound and Recovery, with its own toolkit to help guide businesses in reopening, plus a link to connect businesses to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies manufactured in Washington.

Everetts’s Getting to Safe Toolkit

The Getting to Safe Toolkit is based on national and local recommendations for safe reopening from Challenge Seattle, the Boston Consulting Group, the Governor’s Office, and the state Department of Health, along with recommendations from Everett’s Economic Development Department, and the Snohomish Health District, according to a news release.

Dan Eernissee, Everett Economic Development director. (Photo courtesy of city of Everett.)

“The amount of information available is overwhelming,” Everett Economic Development Director Dan Eernissee said in the release. “This toolkit is concise and practical so that small-business owners can efficiently prepare to reopen and work quickly to recover from the pandemic.”

The toolkit follows other small-business support provided by the city that included the Everett Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (Everett CARES) grant program, and partners with the Everett for Everett small-business support website the city launched in March.

The toolkit is a living document that may be updated as necessary, according to the toolkit’s introduction.

“Ideas are intended to demonstrate how employers can operate in a ‘new normal’ in a way that aligns with public health guidelines,” it added.

Cassie Franklin, Everett mayor. (Photo courtesy of city of Everett.)

In the release, Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin said, “We continue to encourage businesses to follow all safety procedures and phase recommendations coming from the Governor’s Office. While planning for economic recovery, we need to remember it is not business as usual.”

AWB’s Rebound and Recovery Website

Meanwhile, AWB’s free website, Rebound and Recovery, contains two elements: PPE Connect and Business Toolkit.

PPE Connect

Kris Johnson, president and CEO of the Association of Washington Business. (Photo courtesy of AWB.)

As more counties move to Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start plan and as more parts of Washington’s economy come back to life, AWB recognized that employers would need help locating PPE like face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, said AWB President and CEO Kris Johnson in a news release.

“This is both an urgent need and, we expect, an ongoing need as we adjust to a ‘new normal,’” Johnson said. “So, we wanted to make it easy for employers to not only find the PPE they need, but also make it easy to support Washington manufacturers of these products. The PPE Connect portal is designed to do just that — connect Washington businesses with Washington manufacturers of PPE.”

About 40 PPE manufacturers were listed in the database at launch, but the number of manufacturers and types of products available is growing, Johnson said.

Business Toolkit
The Business Toolkit is geared toward small and medium-sized businesses and includes downloadable, customizable templates employers can use to create personalized messages for employees and customers. Elements of the toolkit include templates for creating a safe work plan; posters or handouts to help share information about the new COVID-19 requirements for one’s business; employee training videos; employee and visitor logs; floor stickers; social media posts; and letters, emails, and website copy.

“This is intended to be a very practical, useful tool for small businesses that aren’t sure where to go to find out what procedures and practices they need to implement, or how best to communicate the steps they have taken to their employees and customers,” Johnson said in the release.