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May 1 begins the first stage of Governor Little’s plan to reopen Idaho in the wake of COVID-19 with a Stay Healthy Order. The Governor has announced the gradual reopening of the State will happen in four stages, spanning from today through June 26th, as long as there is not a surge in new coronavirus cases. The plan outlines the dates when different types of businesses can reopen and sets sanitation guidelines for all industries. You can read more about the Governor’s phased plan at www.rebound.idaho.gov.I want to talk about how Eagle is going to handle the staged reopening. First of all, we want to make sure that Eagle residents and businesses can start to feel normal in their community again while feeling safe. Here in Eagle, education is going to be our primary approach. We encourage everyone to follow the path that the governor has laid out, but we do not have the resources to shut down businesses that open before the governor’s timeline. First and foremost, we want to make sure that all Eagle businesses are being safe and smart about their reopening plans so that the people who have been laid off or had to close up shop can get back to working and earning a living.Good public health practices are going to be the keys to keeping people safe while reopening the economy. So, business owners, per the Stay Healthy Order, do your research and establish health and safety plans to protect yourselves, your staff, and your customers. The Rebound Idaho Site, Central District Health, and The Centers for Disease Control have materials to help you build this plan. Some customers are going to be back and ready to buy right away. Others are going to need time and reassurance that coming to your business is safe. Having a health and safety plan is a great first step to help build consumer confidence.Businesses should also be following the guidance from other local and state regulating bodies, like the Idaho Department of Labor, Alcohol Beverage Control, or state licensing boards. Also, do you due diligence to make sure that you do not hurt your business by breaking any rules you agreed to when accepting federal aid dollars.The City has established a Business and Workforce Recovery Task Force comprised of members of the local business community. Their mission is to come up with the best ways to support and promote local businesses during this staged reopening and into the future because the financial impacts of the coronavirus will extend far past the staged reopening. The City Council appointed the committee members today so that they can get to work immediately on ideas for recovery.It has been incredible to see the ways the community has pulled together during the past few months. Going forward, personal responsibility is what is going to keep us healthy and safe. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and as a community, we will continue to rally around those who need it the most as we reopen Eagle!