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Best Practices in Economic Development from Experienced Leaders

Amy Clickner 2019re·cov·er·y

a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.

We continue to move our economy and community forward on a path to “recovery” from the devastating effects of COVID-19. I would argue, however, that based on the true definition of “recovery” what we are experiencing is better characterized as a “rebirth”. Why? Because returning to a normal state, pre-COVID is certainly not happening anytime soon.

I also use “rebirth” because of how innovative and creative our businesses and organizations continue to be to meet the new regulations, customer expectations, employee needs … all while keeping their entity running. Have you been to a restaurant, salon, medical appointment, or small retailer lately? If you have, then you certainly have experienced the new normal of such activities.

This past weekend I was showing our house guests around the area. Hitting Marquette’s downtown, I was surprised how busy it was. Cars in hotel parking lots, a busy Farmer’s Market, and people bustling in and out of storefronts. But I felt very comfortable. People were masked and patiently lined up if a store was at its maximum capacity. Many diners were enjoying the beautiful weather outside.

Stores were properly signed with mask reminders, plexiglass galore, and directional arrows if need be. Employees were all masked up, monitoring capacity and sanitizing tables and countertops in between customers. Most menus are disposable or double as a placemat. Hand sanitizers can be found around every corner.

Stopping for a beer on a beautiful day? Plenty of outdoor space, plexiglass, masks required, and even a wristband if you have heard the “safety” spiel already!  

Dinner was pizza on the west end, and again, wearing my mask, I picked up our to-go order with a cashless transaction and single-use pen. I have had my haircut, grocery shopped, paid for gas inside, had a physical and even attended church during this rebirth phase and I have to say how proud I am to be from a community who takes the necessary precautions to protect all. Does it feel like we’re back to normal? Of course not. But it is our new normal to be embraced.

And, of course, with the rebirth has come curbside pickup, more delivery options, more website and phone apps for shopping, additional outdoor seating, and cocktails to go if the timing is not right for you to go inside.

Yes, we will get through this and we will do it together. Don’t forget the deadline for the Michigan Business Restart grants is August 5. Get your application in!

To view previous MEDA blogs, visit our Blog Archive page.

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