The Greater Houston Partnership initiated a series of working group meetings called Reopen Houston Safely, between April 23 and 27 to prepare for the Greater Houston area’s reopening of the economy safely, sustainably and successfully. The groups represented businesses of all sizes and regions from key industries, with over 80 business and community leaders participating.
Representing Small Businesses included Casey Morgan, CEO of GHBA.
“The Greater Houston Partnership and the GHBA recognize the urgency our community feels for opening business and jump-starting the economy,” said Casey Morgan. “The Reopen Houston Safely conferences helped bring together a broad range of experienced business professionals to develop principles and best practices for reopening that will protect the health of both employees and customers. The plan takes into account the groundwork of federal and state guidance and reflects the healthcare concerns and industry needs in the Houston area,” she added.
In addition to Small Businesses, other groups represented were High Touch/Customer Facing that included restaurant/food services, retail and entertainment; Industrial that included energy, power, construction and manufacturing; Office Workers/Knowledge Workers such as IT/Information, finance accounting, legal, investment and professional services; Health Care; Logistics / Transportation that included trucking, rail, port, transit, warehouse; Education, K-12, higher education and Social Services such as child care and faith community.
In preparation for the meetings, a survey to business owners was initiated by the Partnership to gauge their needs in order to reopen. Review the survey results
A list of the results from the Reopen Houston Safely working groups is below. For more in-depth details visit https://www.houston.org/news/fundamentals-reopening-houston-safely
- Set a Balanced Tone: A phased increase in economic activity must be balanced with public health considerations.
- Recognize Houston’s Economic Diversity: Houston will reopen safely across industries, business size, and risk profiles of work environments through strategies appropriate to each sector.
- Acknowledge the Role of Business: Now that Phase One of the State’s reopening plan has been announced, there is urgency within the business community to adopt Work Safe measures and building employee and consumer confidence.
- Make Coordination a Priority: Between all stakeholders, working group members identified the importance of speaking with a unified, clear and consistent public voice.
- Consider Access and Equity: Working groups considered access and equity for all Houstonians and prioritized considerations related to vulnerable populations.
- Prepare for the Long Term: Working group members recognize the “new normal” in which Houston will operate until a vaccine is available.