MAPC's "Building a New Future Together," released on May 12, 2020, contains recommendations for how municipalities can facilitate small business reopening and recovery.
These businesses are critical to local economies and they face significant challenges in being able to survive past the early phases of the COVID-19 crisis. Neighborhood businesses are particularly vital in some of our hardest hit communities, and if we help them to move beyond the current crisis, they can serve as the backbone of neighborhood revitalization.
Municipal government has a key role to play in helping small business to reopen, recover, and thrive well into the future. However, the Commonwealth must provide clear, consistent guidelines and requirements, and to ensure consistent messaging to business owners, employees, and customers about how to remain safe after reopening occurs. The state can also play a key role in providing access to testing and PPE, as well as support for the increased enforcement needed to ensure compliance.
Throughout the phases of reopening and recovery, municipalities will need to be entrepreneurial and flexible according to changing needs and conditions of small businesses in their community. In each city or town, these recommendations can help to guide the development and implementation of a plan for each municipality, but always with the involvement and input of the communities being served, and with cultural awareness and sensitivity.