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Prevention measures

For the past few days, governments have been talking about gradually reopening businesses. A recovery plan has been scheduled for this week. How about you? Have you begun to think about it? Although life seems to be gradually able to return to normal, some restrictions will remain. Consumers could be more fearful, and their behaviour could change. Some sectors have already resumed operations and only had a few days to get ready. Be a step ahead and prepare your recovery plan!

Your employees

Have you remained in contact with your employees? Will they be ready to return to work in the coming weeks? Will they have childcare or other constraints to deal with? Will you bring all of them back as soon as the Legault government gives the go-ahead?

If you have come up with answers to all of these questions, you will have most likely put yourself in a position of just having to concentrate on your customers when you do reopen. Besides, they could be more fearful, and it will behoove your company to meet the government’s pre-established standards, while at the same time being welcoming, warm and especially safe. Buy-in by your employees is crucial in order for this to happen. They must be prepared to operate under these new conditions. You must first take steps to make them secure and give them the tools they need. You could perhaps benefit from the training programs that are available. By doing so, you will be in control of the situation and you will stand out by virtue of your knowledge and willingness to adapt.

What do you anticipate that the traffic to your business will be like when you reopen? Many consumers may gradually emerge from their confinement and may not fall back into their habits they left behind in March. Online purchases have spiked. Consumers are more aware of purchasing from Quebec businesses (with the launch of the Panier bleu (Blue Basket)) and local purchasing. It can be assumed that traffic to businesses will not pick up from where it left off before confinement. Employees should be brought back to work accordingly.

Your suppliers

Have you stayed in touch with your suppliers? Did they encounter any supply problems during confinement? Are they anticipating any when activities resume? Have they made any changes to the way they do business? Be prepared and contact them? You’ll be a leg up on your competitors!

Health measures

Hand washing, social distancing and very minimal handling of goods are some of the measures that will remain, at least for a certain time, once businesses have opened.

Health measures must be established for employees and customers, and they must be posted and disseminated.

Your employees

You must implement a procedure to deal with cases where an employee could fall ill, show symptoms, come in contact with someone who is sick or if a customer with symptoms were to come to your business. Since you are responsible for your employees, you must ensure they have all the information, training and equipment they need to do their work as safely as possible.

However, your employees have to bear some of the responsibility too, as they must commit to complying with the measures you have put in place.

Your customers

When you implement preventive measures in your company, you are sending a message to your customers that their health is your concern, not to mention showing your sense of responsibility. They will therefore feel comfortable visiting you and taking the time they need to make their purchases.

Your place of business

It is common knowledge that some preventive measures will continue to be taken after businesses reopen. You will therefore have to make changes at your place of business, which will result in additional cost. Will you need to install Plexiglas panels at the checkout counter? Do you have a hand disinfectant distributor at the entrance? Are you planning to do business online? Since professionals in the field and the materials needed for these measures will be in high demand in the next few weeks, make any reservations you need to right away in order to be ready and have peace of mind when you do open.

If you would like to find out more about specific health measures you can implement in your business, please download the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety document.

The CNESST also has interesting information that you could find useful.

The Gatineau Valley SADC is there to help you and lend you a hand with this exercise. Please feel free to contact one of our two advisers, Julie Bénard at (819) 449-1551 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Nathalie Patry at (819) 449-1551 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They will be pleased to advise you and help you through the process.

The situation is changing from day to day. Watch for regular information from the Gatineau Valley SADC!!!


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