Gradually, signs are flipping over from closed to open, with precautions for both customers and merchants. Some consumers are ready to step back into the retail world to see, touch, and buy products and services, while others are more cautious. While merchants are more than ready to receive business, they also want to keep everyone healthy and safe. The Centers for Disease Control has a lengthy list of recommendations for business owners to follow to maintain a clean storefront. Consumers are encouraged to do their own part, such as carrying hand sanitizer, wearing a mask, and keeping up with social distancing guidelines.

Human creativity, adaptability, and the desire to forge a different kind of normality in the coming months is the goal for both businesses and consumers. Finding a way to balance it all is the responsibility for both parties.

BBB recommends these tips for consumers to safely support business owners:

  • Follow individual state and province requirements as businesses reopen.
  • Stay up to date on the merchant’s requests by email or social media; pay attention to the number of people physically allowed in the store and the store hours.
  • Remember to use any gift cards tucked away from the holidays.
  • Do comparison shopping online. If you’re purchasing a big-ticket item such as a major appliance, consider checking features and availability online rather than going from store to store.
  • Be patient as businesses restock shelves and begin new routines. Business owners are trying to reassure customers they’re clean, safe and willing to provide a good experience.