Business/industry owners/leaders: Survey on reopening the local economy

An empty street is seen in downtown Cullman April Monday, April 13, 2020. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman and the Cullman Economic Development Agency (CEDA) have begun surveying area business owners and industry leaders about reopening the local economy. So far, more than 250 responses have been collected and were part of what Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth is providing to Gov. Kay Ivey for a recommendation from the Alabama Emergency Task Force looking at reopening the state.  The 250 responses were from agriculture, poultry, real estate and event venues. Now, the survey is open to every local business and industry to ensure local companies get to comment on safety procedures in the “new normal” business model.

The short survey can be found at

Gudger, the City of Cullman, the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce and Cullman Economic Development Agency are urging you to thoroughly complete this survey.  It will be used in how the City of Cullman goes about supporting, guiding and protecting our business and industries in this area as they begin to reopen during the COVID-19 virus.

“The main purpose of this survey is to focus on reopening the economy while balancing the health and safety of our citizens.  Ultimately, we are inquiring about if you were to reopen, how would you do so in order that customers and employees would feel comfortable and safe, and what new procedures would you put in place to ensure the health and well-being of all?  We will take this data and use it to evaluate how to assist in meeting the needs of our business as they reopen in a safe manner.  There is much thought that will need to go into this,” said a statement from CEDA. “We are hopeful that things may begin to creep back into normal; however, we want to make sure we address any issues that may come about that could risk an unneeded spike on the virus again.  For example, in retail, is it safe to try on clothes before buying? What about returning merchandise?  In manufacturing, what is the best protocol if a worker on the floor test positive?  What are the next steps (because time is crucial)?  Would a positive test shut a business down?  What would “proper” sanitation steps be before and after a positive?

“These are uncertain times in which we all in uncharted waters.  None of us are experts on the best and safest methods for getting our small business back open, our large industries running at full capacity, and our unemployed back to work.  However, we feel that by gathering concrete, factual data from those who we are making plans for, we can better serve our people.  Input from citizens will be crucial.  You all know what is best for your particular field and therefore, we are calling upon you to share your thoughts and advice so that we can plan proactively for the bright future ahead.”

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Wendy Sack