Roundtable Recap: Re-Opening Discussion with SLC Independent Retailers

May 14, 2020 Written by Ryan Mack

Hosted 5-12-20 by Local First and Downtown Alliance

View the video of the discussion here

Key takeaways and questions:

  • Community is stepping up in big ways to support the local business community and businesses are pivoting to provide goods and services safely!
  • Sales over the Mother’s Day Weekend were strong. Retailers called the customer support last weekend “a godsend.”
  • Can a business refuse service to a customer that is not abiding by the business’s health considerations (e.g. wearing a mask)?

Some of the businesses at the round table are requesting that customers wear masks while in their store. None have had to refuse service to a customer. Some worked out alternative arrangements (delivery, curb-side hand-off).

Downtown Alliance looked into State and County requirements. The current State Executive Order directs business employees and health care workers to use a mask or face covering and makes a “strong recommendation” that other individuals do the same. Salt Lake County Health has not yet (5/12/20) responded with any legal guidance however they have provided general business and social reopening guidelines.

Downtown Alliance suggests that retail operators consult with your legal counsel about refusing service to a customer based on their behavior in your store.

  • Where can I get Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for my business?

Small businesses can acquire a PPE Push Pack at no charge through the State. Register here to receive your PPE Push Pack.

The State has also compiled a vendor list of Utah companies where you can purchase PPE and other critical supplies.

  • How can I avoid paying back Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding? Some businesses suggest that the business owners should put themselves on the payroll for the duration of time they’ve received the funding.

Loan details and forgiveness information on the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) can be here

  • Business owners are experiencing difficulties in hiring back employees who are receiving unemployment benefits.

Information on COVID-19-Unemployment insurance from the Department of Workforce Services can be found here.

COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program can be found here. Completed applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The application process will remain open until all grant funds are used.

Register for upcoming Re-Opening Round Table Discussions for Salt Lake City Businesses here.