• Resilient Madison:
    Reopening & Recovery

  • The Madison Area Chamber of Commerce seeks to provide businesses with the resources necessary to reopen safely.

    It certainly won't be "business as usual" overnight, but the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to working with businesses in the Jefferson County area to rebuild the economy of our community. To continue our mission of providing resources, information and support to our members, we have compiled information below to serve as a guide as you begin to look towards a new normal.

    Any phased reopening must be in accordance with sound public health decisions, and with proper safety protocols outlined here and by local and state health departments. More information from the experts and elected leaders may add to or alter these guidelines.

  • New Resources:

    Worried about getting sued as you reopen? Read Article

    Prepare Now 

    Businesses should be considering how to reopen safely, and what that means for any potential liability, employee safety, and customer safety. Communication is key as you decide the best way to move forward in your business:

    Should you open yet? - CDC's Workplace Decision Tree Guide

    • PPE/Masks
      -Will employees wear masks and/or gloves?
      -Will customers be required to wear masks?
      -What other kinds of PPE might be required?

    • Social Distancing
      -What signage will need to be created to direct both employees and customers on social distancing?
      -Are there aisles within my place of business which should be reserved for single direction traffic (one-way) to avoid issues with social distancing?
      -How can lobbies and public areas be set to deter customers and employees from lingering?
      -Should chairs be removed or reduced in number to assist with social distancing?

    • Disinfecting strategies
    • CDC Guide for Disinfecting and Sanitizing the Workplace
      -Should employees stop working and wipe down work areas with sanitizing/disinfecting cleaning supplies regularly (every two hours)?
      -How frequently should we disinfect or sanitize handles and flat surfaces in common areas?
      -What should be our policy on employee hand washing upon entering the workplace, and how often should they stop to wash throughout the work day?
      -What should be our policy on customers using hand sanitizer upon entering the business?
      -How can we make sure exchange of funds is safe (sanitizer at cash register, wiping down credit cards and pens)?

    • Sourcing & Signage
      -Do we have access to PPE such as masks.
      -Do we have access to disinfectant/sanitation supplies?
      -What signage is needed to communicate with customers & employees?
      -Can I source these items locally to support our community? https://www.madisonindiana.com/sourcing

    • Employee precautions and rotation
      -Could we stagger breaks and lunches to ensure groups of 10 or fewer?
      -Are break rooms and common areas arranged for social distancing?
      -Is there outdoor space available for breaks?
      -Can we create staggered or rolling employee work groups that work on different days and/or shifts with no "cross-pollination" between groups?
    • Engineering approaches (air filters, increased ventilation options, installing physical barriers)
    • Mental health care (employee access)
    • Testing options (how and where can employees be tested)
    • Protocol if someone is symptomatic/tests positive



    Government Guidance:

    CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting -  This guidance is intended for all Americans, whether you own a business, run a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home.

    CDC Reopening Workplaces During the COVID-19 Pandemic - This tool is to assist employers in making decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces After COVID-19 - OSHA provides guidance, "this is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations, as well as descriptions of
    mandatory safety and health standards.

  • COVID-19 Employer Best Practices

    Working Arrangements  

    • Offices closed for all or non-essential workers
    • Visitors restricted at all sites
    • Essential workers or in some cases Executive Response teams in the office practice social distancing. In many cases they are required to wear PPE/masks. Boxed lunches are provided.
    • All employees receive training on the new procedures as they return to work
    • Travel is generally cancelled with limited exceptions if critical to health or essential COVID related work and generally with senior level approval
    • All cross-border travel stopped

    Events, Engagement and Communication

    • Generally, customer facing events will be reimagined, postponed, or canceled through the end of May
    • Onsite and offsite meetings, events, and social gatherings (including employees and/or guests) are reimagined, postponed or canceled in most cases through May
    • Ergonomics – Being addressed for home working arrangements. Some companies have provided an allowance for employees to purchase equipment at home (generally $250- $300/employee) e.g. a one-time office equipment and access to standard peripherals and the noise canceling headphones program

    Employee Engagement and Support

    • Additional virtual social events and happy hours with focus on engaging teams. Many send uber eats, gift cards, deliveries and/or arrange scavenger hunts
    • Observed greater cross team and cross geography connections
    • Regularly – daily to weekly updates from leadership or a task force and sharing of resources
      critical to the employees
    • Virtual change leadership and wellbeing resources and conversations
    • Support for people living alone
    • Funds established to help with financial challenges by some businesses and reimbursable expenses for support up to as much as $100 a day
    • Virtual appointments at on campus health clinics
    • COVID-19 Safety Guidelines are regularly updated, and some businesses have created an internal employee group to centralize our responses


    • Childcare continues to be a challenge for working parents who are now at home with children. Some employers are offering reimbursement for back up care
    • Offer increased back -up daycare benefit from 10 to 20 days for each employee


    • Most summer intern offers are being honored, and companies are planning on virtual/remote internships
    • Many companies are shortening their internships to 4-8 weeks but compensating their interns for the original length of the intern program We are canceling about half of our
      internship openings.  Keeping a handful that are critical.
    • Some businesses have 3 key start dates for our interns. Many start June 1st which gives us more time to prepare
    • A few employers are cancelling programs or up to half of their internship offers.. But most will employ the interns hired but pause on any additions

    Recruiting/ Interviewing

    • Most recruiting and hiring are continuing forward, with all interviews taking place by video/zoom or phone
    • Focused on critical hires but still building pipeline and recruiters are overall busy
    • New grad programs are generally stalled
    • Live interviews have been converted to virtual across the board
    • Updated all our messaging to candidates to reflect these changes and the times we are in
    • Experience some declines as new hires call and share, they are not comfortable making a move currently.
    • Onboarding and the I-9 process are now virtual for those new hires working remote Considerations in advance of return to work
    • Internal teams developing criterion of when to consider returning to work; it includes availability of testing and a period of consistent decline of cases across Indiana over an extended period; more criterion will apply
    • Before making final decision, evaluating availability of PPE
    • Plan to return employees back to the worksite over phases. Returning those most critical employees first and those who can work effectively in a virtual environment in the last phase.
    • Phased Return may take time and reach into the Fall


  • Click the image above for Kroger's blueprint for businesses. For Kroger's downloadable COVID-19 signage, CLICK HERE.