As we get closer to re-engaging with the Michigan business community, everybody wants to know where they will be the safest going forward. Fortunately, the team at the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber have been working overtime to find a way to help you find those businesses dedicated to the safest re-entry possible in as easy a manner as possible. That’s why they have crafted Southwest Michigan Safe.
As Michigan moves closer to re-engaging more sectors of its economy, the SW Michigan Regional Chamber is launching that new initiative, Southwest Michigan Safe, to encourage adherence to best practices and bolster much needed consumer confidence throughout the region.
Arthur Havlicek, President & CEO of the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber, says, “Studies indicate the retailers who emphasize safety, offer convenience, and show a sense of purpose are in the best position to succeed now and post-pandemic,” and adds, “Our Southwest Michigan Safe campaign seeks to help business owners achieve those goals by providing them with a consistent brand that will be immediately recognizable to the consumer.”
Here how the campaign is designed to work:
- All public, private, and nonprofit entities can visit this link: http://www.swmisafe.org and voluntarily sign the pledge to affirm their commitment to keeping those they employ, and serve, safe.
- Organizations that sign the pledge will be listed – at no cost – on the website’s directory. After signing, share the pledge with employees and customers by printing and displaying it at your place of work. For additional visual reinforcement, organizations can also opt to purchase “Working to Keep Southwest Michigan Safe” window decals to display on their storefront. See the actual pledge here: SMS-Pledge
- Members of the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber who sign the pledge are entitled to one free window decal. Non-members who sign the pledge may purchase the decals at a cost of $5.00 each. The Chamber plans to add additional visual reinforcements, such as stickers, sandwich boards, yard signs, and more in the coming days.
Havlicek says, “Having had countless conversations with Southwest Michigan business owners, they are ready to open and are committed to protecting the health and safety of our communities,” and notes, “We are excited to launch our Southwest Michigan Safe campaign as a way to recognize those working to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in a way that also informs consumers about their commitment to best practices.”
Since the pandemic started, the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber has spearheaded a number of successful efforts aimed at supporting the region’s business community. Most prominent has been the Buy Local Berrien Facebook group created at the pandemic’s outset. This group has since soared to nearly 9,000 members and has helped inspire area residents to support local businesses during this difficult time. They were also a founding member the Berrien ReOpens effort, a coalition of local business organizations that came together to develop guidance and resources for a safe restart to our local economy. Havlicek’s hope is that Southwest Michigan Safe builds upon these efforts as businesses seek to find a “new normal.”
He concludes, “The only true path to solvency for our local businesses, or prosperity for our local economy, is for our doors to open and our consumer to return,” and adds, “That day is coming soon, and when it does, safety is paramount. It is only by staying safe that we will be able to stay open.”