March 16, 2020
As we navigate uncharted territory of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Downtown Missoula Partnership and the Missoula Downtown Association (MDA) in particular understand the concerns and desires for our Downtown community to do all it can to reduce the spread of the virus and the impact on our community. Like many of our partners and members, we will do all we can to protect our community’s health. We recognize things are changing quickly, and we will continue to rely on the CDC, the State of Montana, and Missoula City-County Health Department for advice and recommendations.
The Downtown Missoula Partnership Office will remain open at this time. These are some of the things our team is doing to reduce exposure and contact:
- Canceling all public and membership events through mid-April
- Canceling all committee and board meetings in the next 30 days
- Suspending common-area services for two weeks: ambassador, clean team, and Downtown police officer
- Continuing maintenance services with additional precautions
- Communicating primarily by phone, email, and conference calls
- Encouraging gift card orders online
- Mailing & delivering Downtown Gift Card orders
- Rotating staff to reduce number of individuals in the office
- Allowing our staff to work from home when possible
- Cleaning & sterilizing our doors and desks 2-3 times a day
- Social distancing
The decision to remain open to the public is up to each business. Please note the MCCHD just issued an order closing bars and limiting restaurant services from March 17-24.
Those staying open should be implementing practices to reduce exposure and contact in their locations. Examples include:
- Limiting Hours of Operation
- Canceling events with 50 people or more
- Eliminating or reducing in-house seating
- Pickup & Delivery Services
- Working from home when possible
- Eliminating cash transactions
- Reducing the number of customers in the business at one time
- Voluntary quarantines for employees who are sick or have traveled by air
We recognize the gamut of emotions all of us are going through right now. The future feels uncertain, the timeline is unknown, and the economic impact of COVID-19 could be vast. However, if we work together as a collective now to reduce the impact and the curve, then our community will be better off in the long run.
It is during times like these when we must come together as a community and support each other. There is no better opportunity than now to engage with your clients, customers and community online. Be proactive in preparing for the potential mandate for closure. If that happens, consider using that time and your staff for annual inventory, spring cleaning, or maybe an extended break. Try to not stress out, and focus on building your immune system.
We will continue to monitor the quickly changing dynamics of the COVID-19 outbreak, and we will share information on our website and social media. MDA members are encouraged to use the MDA Member Facebook Group to share thoughts and ideas. Most importantly, please remember to rely on these sources for information:
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- CDC Guidance for Businesses & Employers
- State of Montana Department of Health & Human Services
- Missoula City-County Health Department
There is no better time than now to stay connected to your community.
Linda K. McCarthy & DMP Staff