COVID-19 Economic Transition Team releases guidelines for safely opening businesses in San Antonio

David Ibañez

SAN ANTONIO – The COVID-19 Economic Transition Team appointed by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff on Tuesday released recommendations for safely reopening businesses in the greater San Antonio area.

These guidelines build on the minimum standards outlined in the Open Texas plan issued by Governor Abbott.

Kevin Voelkel, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, and Julissa Carielo, president of Tejas Premier Building Contractor, Inc., are co-chairs of the economic transition team and presented the plan to City Council and County Commissioners during a virtual special joint meeting.

“The Greater San Antonio Region is resilient. Our inclusive culture and diverse economy sustain us and make us stronger through the hardest times,” Voelkel said. “The guidance laid out by the ETT seeks to address our community’s specific needs, activate a socially equitable support framework, and deploy a community-wide campaign to instill consumer and visitor confidence.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many of the disparities in our region, our business community included. The Health Transition Team (HTT) and ETT are committed to bringing forth challenges faced by our marginalized populations and recommends short- and long-term solutions so that San Antonio and Bexar County residents never have to choose between physical safety and economic health,” said Carielo.

The ETT was assigned to lend a broad-ranging business perspective to the Health Transition Team (HTT)’s Advisory Guidelines to reopen the local economy. All recommendations and resources are tailored through a social equity lens to provide businesses with the necessary tools to safely reopen and operate within the parameters set by the State of Texas and the HTT. The ETT recommendations identifies business needs, and solutions for providing short- and long-term relief plans. Special attention was given to high-risk entities including small and minority-owned businesses. The ETT guidelines go beyond the original scope to provide three key deliverables to support the greater San Antonio region’s safe reopening:

The greater San Antonio playbook includes additional guidance and safe reopening recommendations over and beyond the minimum standards outlined in Governor Abbott’s “Open Texas” plan, including checklists for companies in key industries in San Antonio and Bexar County.  Recommendations to provide small businesses access to support service groups and in-demand safety resources needed to comply with guidelines. Plan to leverage the City and County’s buying power to source globally scarce resources like face coverings, no-touch thermometers and hand sanitizer. Marketing & public relations recommendations outline a regional, collaborative effort to define, develop and distribute a cohesive message for reopening the economy in a dynamic environment that will instill consumer confidence. This multi-channel campaign will provide businesses of all sizes with messaging, social media tools, and signage to show they’ve pledged to prioritize their customers’ safety.

The ETT recommends working with the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation to facilitate the short- and long-term recommendations for small business support.

Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran and Commissioner Sergio “Chico” Rodriguez served as liaisons to the economic transition team.

View the guidelines below:

Copyright 2020 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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