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The Key to Keeping Businesses Open: Wear a Mask

Michigan is at a turning point in its restart and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. With cases on the rise statewide, now is the time to take action to ensure the state’s continued, safe reopening. As Detroit Regional Chamber president and CEO Sandy K. Baruah said in a recent Crain’s Detroit Business op-ed, “In this era of COVID-19, there is nothing more important to businesses large and small — and the employees who work for them — than to keep their doors open. Unless and until the virus is under control, our economy and employment will suffer.”


Baruah continues to state how the simple precaution of wearing a face covering in public can help stem the spread of COVID-19, and therefore allow local businesses to progress toward recovery – a sentiment reinforced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent executive order mandating the use of face coverings in indoor public spaces and some outdoor spaces.

Whether we as a community choose to take this simple step toward preventing the spread of the virus or carry on with the status quo will have undeniable effects on the local business landscape.

What This Means for Jobs Seekers
This global pandemic has drastically impacted the careers of new job seekers and seasoned career veterans alike. As businesses were forced to shut down, adjust operations, and/or cut costs, many employees found themselves furloughed or laid off. What’s more, many companies who were hiring were no longer able to support open positions, narrowing prospects for those seeking their next gig. Even for businesses still able to hire, the health and safety imperative to work remotely has transformed the job search, interviewing, and onboarding processes, adding a new layer of complexity to an already complex endeavor. As young professionals on the job hunt or hoping to maintain employment, it is in our best interest support local businesses’ recovery by masking up.

What This Means for the Small Business Community
We all have a favorite local coffee shop, barber, or boutique to which we’ve pledged our loyalty. Despite specialty offerings, unbeatable service, and tight-knit sense of community, in the wake of COVID-19, these businesses’ very existence is up in the air. Baseline mindfulness and adherence to face covering and social distancing measures will allow these businesses to keep their doors open, keep their employees and families safe and healthy, and continue to bolster the economies and well-beings of the communities they call home. Your Saturday morning bagel run depends on it.

What You Can Do
Committing to wear a face covering while in public is a simple, effective way to contribute to the state’s recovery from this public health and economic crisis. Reusable face coverings are more easily accessible than ever. Consider purchasing yours from one of these Detroit area vendors and reviewing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for face covering use.

Want to make it official? Take the Chamber’s Keep Businesses Open #MaskUpMichigan pledge, and spread the word to your friends, families, and colleagues while you’re at it. Do your part – and wear a mask – to help keep businesses open.

Written by Let’s Detroit’s Catia Sabak 

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