Group helping businesses reopen safely in Jennings County

While individual owners are deciding if it is time to reopen, a team of dedicated business owners is working behind the scenes to move Jennings County forward into a healthy business climate.

Anna Walker of the Jennings County Economic Development Commission is the Special Project Manager in the effort to help the area reopen for business.

According to Walker, there is a “team effort” to successfully open following the nearly three-month shut down caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Members of the JC Small Business Coalition and other individuals usually meet once a week to discuss ways of following the governor’s guidelines and the recommendations of the CDC (Center for Disease Control),” Walker said. “Our goal is not to tell businesses when they should re open but we are here to encourage business owners to move forward At their own speed with as much safety as possible.

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“Some of our businesses have been operating at 50% capacity and are now ready to move into 75% of their business capacity. However, there are businesses that still haven’t reopened at all and have no plans to reopen anytime soon. When they are ready to move forward, we are here to help with advice on how to do that as safely as possible.”

Walker explained there are many reasons why a small business might not be ready to open such as not being able to get supplies or not having the access to personal protective equipment.

“It’s often more difficult for a small business to get supplies than it is for a big-box store to get supplies because the big-box stores have elaborate supply chains,” she said. “For example, we have been working on finding ways for the the small business owners to get the PPE necessary to keep themselves, their employees and and their customers safe.

“I am very proud of how Jennings County businesses have moved forward. They have kept Jennings County stable. But, if someone runs into problems with some of the new regulations or just wants some advice, we are here to help.”

The Jennings County Economic Development Commission is located at 1865 West Highway 50 and can be contacted at number 812-346-2388.