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Ricketts Encourages Business Flexibility During COVID-19
Nebraska Ag Connection - 03/26/2020

Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a Facebook Live event to discuss ideas on flexibly continuing business operations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. He was joined by Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) Director Tony Goins; Natalie Micale, owner of Oh Hello! ad agency; and Todd Duncan, chairman of Duncan Aviation. Business owners were invited to participate online and to submit questions electronically during the event.

Oh Hello! has created a "COVID-19 Lincoln Business Directory." The Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) has also created a resource that can be accessed by clicking here.

Offer drive-up service to customers

- Restaurants and bars have moved to takeout, curbside pickup, or drive-thru service.

- Traditional sit-down restaurants are adding phone lines to handle calls for delivery/pickup orders.

- Local retailers are posting items for sale online, and then readying orders for curbside pickup.

- Veterinary clinics have begun to offer stay-in-car services. They will come get the pet from a vehicle, take the pet inside for a checkup, and then deliver the pet back to the vehicle after the exam.

- Photography stores are offering online sales and giving customers the option to pick up curbside.

Deliver to customers

- Traditional sit-down restaurant establishments and bars are delivering orders.

- Consider how you can deliver your product to your customer. Even cigar lounges are delivering cigars to customers.

- Fitness centers are offering virtual classes. YMCA has classes available on a YouTube channel. Other gyms are offering free classes on demand.

- Gyms are sending instructors to provide in-home classes to groups of 10 or less.

Modify normal day-to-day operations

- Businesses are meeting virtually via teleconference or videoconference.

- Food processing plants are taking temperatures of all workers at the door to ensure the health of their teammates at the worksite.

- Large stores have marked off where customers should stand while waiting to checkout. This helps to maintain the recommended social distance between customers.

- Medical clinics are having patients check in from the parking lot and wait in their vehicles for their appointment. This prevents patients from being bunched together in a waiting room.

- Fitness centers are spreading out their equipment to allow up to 10 customers to work out at once.

- Manufacturers are rearranging workspaces to space out their teammates during the pandemic.

- Restaurants are offering gift cards with more value than the purchase price, while specifying that the cards must be used at a later date. For instance, they're selling $75 gift cards for only $50, provided that the cards are used after June 1. This is helping their cash flow during the pandemic.

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