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Ready to Recover: Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Cox Outline Reopening Strategy from Local Businesses and Workers

Recovery Advisory Group Provides Recommended Actions for Industries to Prepare for Safe Economic Reopening

Monday, May 4, 2020 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – To ensure San Diego is ready to safely reopen as soon as state orders are lifted, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and County Supervisor and Board Chairman Greg Cox today introduced PDF icon guidelines developed by industry and workforce leaders to prepare the region to restart economic activity. The guidance can be used by restaurants, hair and nail salons, and other businesses planning to safely reopen their doors.

"San Diego is ready to recover, and is preparing for a reopening that's safe, strategic and specific to our diverse industries. These guidelines will help get the economy back on its feet and get San Diegans back to work when state and regional orders are lifted," Mayor Faulconer said. "Businesses can use these strategies to get a head start on their reopening plans. We have one goal: protect employees, customers and the public."

The recommended strategies come from the Responsible COVID-19 Economic Reopening (RECOVER) Advisory Group, which was established on April 17. Supervisor Cox and Mayor Faulconer created the group to give voice to businesses and their employees, and to plan for the unique needs of the region’s diverse industries.

"This proposal will take input from the RECOVER group and from others to create a framework to safely reopen non-essential businesses when the time comes," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox. "This will be a starting point for what we expect will be a long, evolving return to business for San Diegans."

The RECOVER Advisory Group guidelines provide steps a business can take when creating a health and safety plan specific to its daily operations, customer base and employee needs. Businesses can consider adopting these recommended strategies, in coordination with forthcoming guidance from public health officials, to secure the safety of customers and workers.

The plan includes five focus areas and a checklist of corresponding actions, which have been recommended by the RECOVER Advisory Group with input from County Public Health officials. They include: 

  • Employee health: Require Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for employees and commit to voluntary compliance with public health officials on contact tracing and testing.
  • Safe worksite entry: Establish controlled entrance and exit practices to avoid queuing issues and work with the Public Health Department to create processes for employee symptom checks.
  • Workplace distancing and conditions: Evaluate occupancy and capacity to ensure proper physical distancing and keep shifts consistent with the same employees in each rotation or shift.
  • Employee training and compliance: Ensure signage on safety requirements, such as hand washing, physical distancing and reporting procedures for employee  

In consultation with the RECOVER Advisory Group, the County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will vote on a Business Safety Framework that businesses must follow to reopen once state restrictions are lifted. Every business will need to demonstrate how it can operate safely in compliance with state and county requirements.

The RECOVER Advisory Group also provided enhanced guidance specific to various industries, including:

  • Restaurants
  • Wellness facilities
  • Attractions and tourism
  • Commercial real estate
  • Construction
  • Hospitality

“When business reopens it’s going to look and feel different than what any of us were used to. It’s important that our businesses have the guidance to ensure the safety of employees and customers, so they can stay open for the long term,” said President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Jerry Sanders. “Our goal in creating these guidelines was to provide businesses with the framework to start planning now for reopening so when the time comes that it is safe to do so, business can open safely and swiftly, and be set-up for long term success. I’d like to thank Supervisor Cox and Mayor Faulconer for appointing the Chamber to this group, we’re proud to have had the opportunity to work with our fellow business and industry organizations from throughout the binational region on this effort.”

These industry-specific strategies are in various stages of development, pending final clearance from appropriate public health agencies.

 This binational and bipartisan group of nearly thirty industry experts and civic leaders, representing tens of thousands of businesses and workers, has been meeting frequently over the last two weeks to prepare strategies on how business can prepare to safely reopen. Members of the RECOVER Advisory Group will continue to provide input as public health and safety professionals consider these strategies for implementation.  

The RECOVER Advisory Group includes the following organizations:

  • Asian Business Association of San Diego 
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of San Diego County 
  • Biocom   
  • California Restaurant Association, San Diego County Chapter 
  • Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce 
  • Connect 
  • Downtown San Diego Partnership 
  • East County Economic Development Council 
  • Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties 
  • The Lincoln Club of San Diego County 
  • National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders 
  • North San Diego Business Chamber 
  • Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce 
  • San Diego Black Contractors Association 
  • San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 
  • San Diego County Regional Airport Authority   
  • San Diego County Farm Bureau 
  • San Diego Port Tenants Association 
  • San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce  
  • San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation 
  • San Diego North Economic Development Council  
  • San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council 
  • San Diego Port Tenants Association  
  • San Diego Tourism Authority 
  • San Diego Unified Port District  
  • Small Business Development Center Network  
  • South County Economic Development Council  
  • Tijuana EDC 
  • Young Presidents Organization, San Diego Chapter  

What people are saying about the recovery plan:

Mark Cafferty, President and CEO, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation:

“Working with the taskforce these past few weeks has given me hope that although the economic realities are difficult and painful in the short term, we have the opportunity to emerge from this crisis a stronger, more resilient San Diego.”

Perry M. Dealy, Board Chairman, The Lincoln Club of San Diego County:

“The Lincoln Club has represented thousands of San Diego businesses since it was formed in 1983 and we have never experienced an economic shock like the one presented by the current pandemic. In the midst of this crisis, Mayor Faulconer and Chairman Cox were able to bring together a diverse group of San Diego’s many business sectors in a short amount of time to produce an action plan to get our economy running again as soon as it is safe and responsible to do so.”

Shandon Harbour, President and CEO, Associated Builders and Contractors San Diego Chapter:

"The guidelines for how to reopen businesses in San Diego have been developed in a thoughtful and deliberate way, putting the health and safety of workers and the general public as the priority. Much like how the construction industry has put aside political or ideological differences we have had to develop consistent measures on all of our job sites, the RECOVER Advisory Group has been focused on what is best for all of San Diego, helping us get back to work and feel safe while doing so."

Jesse Navarro, Founder and Board Member, San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:

“On behalf of our San Diego County Hispanic business community we thank Mayor Faulconer and Supervisor Cox for their great efforts, service and leadership they have provided during this difficult period and throughout their careers. 

Betsey Brennan, President and CEO, Downtown San Diego Partnership:

"On behalf of the 350 members, 11,000 property owners and 275 blocks of residents and businesses represented by the Downtown San Diego Partnership, we were happy to see the work of the RECOVER advisory group result in a document that is actionable and realistic to the needs of our region's diverse industries. From large corporate entities to the small businesses that bring our neighborhoods character and voiced their opinions through the Business Improvement District Alliance, we hope these strategies and guidelines will help provide a common understanding of what we need to do to reopen safely."

Joe Panetta, President and CEO, Biocom:

“On behalf of Biocom’s San Diego life science companies, thank you to Mayor Faulconer and Supervisor Cox for appreciating the important input of our industry in developing this plan. We look forward to returning to work to continue developing therapies and technologies that will benefit all patients.”

Debra Rosen, President and CEO, North San Diego Business Chamber:

“In the spirit of collaboration and getting San Diego back open for business in a safe and healthy way, it is the diverse representation of this group and industries represented, that allowed the process to happen efficiently and quickly. “

Read the PDF icon full report here.

A statewide “Stay-at-Home” order is still in effect. For more information on the order, including what’s closed, what’s open and which industries are exempted by the state, please visit COVID19.ca.gov.

For information regarding COVID-19 cases and directives from the County of San Diego public health officials, please visit www.coronavirus-sd.com.

For the latest City operational updates and steps the public can take to help reduce the spread of the disease, please visit sandiego.gov/coronavirus.

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