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Businesses re opening, but not yet back to normal. Experts weigh in on how to safely get back to business

Thinking your small business is getting back to normal? Here's what you need to know to keep your employees safe.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — While Governor Greg Abbott says businesses will be reopening step-by-step, what do owners and employees need to be thinking about?

Brian Burns reports the Director of Visit Corpus Christi says communication is key.

“We’ve been communicating on a weekly basis with hotels, restaurants, attractions, really just trying to help them navigate the Cares Act,” Brett Oetting, the President of Visit Corpus Christi, said.

Oetting says he has been trying to help businesses, especially the hospitality industry, get ready to reopen. He says regular retail businesses can learn a lot from the restaurant industry has already road-tested.

“These other businesses if they can follow this model that the restaurant industry has in terms of drop off and delivery,” he said.

Oetting says businesses need to communicate now before they reopen to educate employees on the new normal including social distancing and keeping customers separated inside businesses.

While there are no laws requiring employers to provide protective gear to their employees, employment attorney Amie Augenstein says employers need to step up to keep their workers and customers safe.

“Just because the government isn’t requiring employers to provide face masks, it doesn’t mean they can’t and it doesn’t mean the employees shouldn’t use them,” Augenstein said.

Both agree this is the time for restaurants and hotels to prepare.

“Right now is a great opportunity to clean, sanitize and implement an updated cleaning schedule,” Oetting said.

Oetting added there are weekly conference calls for businesses to discuss the challenges with reopening. For information on how to join those calls, you can contact Visit Corpus Christi.

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