Courtesy of Auburn
Chamber of Commerce

The Auburn Chamber’s mission is to provide resources and leadership to create a thriving business environment. Out of concern for its businesses and the health and safety of its employees, the chamber has launched Keep Auburn Open.

The components of Keep Auburn Open are to follow the state of Alabama’s proclamation by Gov. Kay Ivey and recommendations of the CDC, which include wearing face coverings, frequent hand washing and providing a six-foot distance between others.

The Auburn Chamber encourages everyone to help reduce community-wide transmission and impacts of the virus by taking personal responsibility.

“In the governor’s press conference on Wednesday, she encouraged the business community to support her amended health order which requires face coverings in public,” said Chamber President Lolly Steiner. “That’s exactly the idea behind Keep Auburn Open. We want to ensure our businesses remain open and safe.”

The chamber values its important partnership with East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) and is frequently provided with COVID-19 updates. For several weeks, EAMC has been encouraging the community to voluntarily wear face masks to help reduce community wide transmission. Through Keep Auburn Open, the chamber believes these efforts will help with community-wide transmission and provide relief for hospital and health care workers.

After studying recommendations by health professionals, downtown Auburn merchant Behind the Glass made the decision to require face coverings for its employees and customers before Gov. Ivey’s amended Safer at Home order.

“Our policy has helped our employees know that we are doing everything that we can to keep them safe, and many, many customers have expressed that they appreciate our dedication to providing a safe shopping experience,” said Donna Young, owner of Behind the Glass. “As a visible part of the downtown community, we wanted to do our part to set a good example. It’s a lot easier to wear a mask when everyone is wearing them.”

The chamber will require anyone who enters its office to wear a face covering for the health and safety of staff members. There will be complimentary masks and hand sanitizer available for visitors, and the chamber encourages its membership to follow.

The Auburn Chamber is committed to sharing resources in the effort to support local businesses and is planning to do so in the coming weeks.

“Our business community has been resilient the past several months,” Steiner said. “The chamber will continue to walk alongside businesses during these challenging times, and we ask the community to do the same by continuing to shop local. By shopping local, you are supporting more jobs and our local economy. Let’s remember, we’re in this together.”

The Auburn Chamber is confident these steps, plus remembering to monitor health daily and following disinfecting guidelines provided by the CDC and OSHA will help slow the spread of COVID-19, reduce positive cases and keep Auburn open.