Missoula officials speak about reopening businesses

Posted at 10:21 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-26 11:51:27-04

MISSOULA — While Gov. Steve Bullock has announced the phased reopening of Montana, it will be up to counties on how to go about the process.

After about a months-long shutdown Missoula officials are finally preparing the area for its re-open.

Local businesses in the area are very excited to get back to operations but are very interested also in learning how to open their businesses properly.

"We have really heard that people want to know how to do it properly and in order to do that we have to talk with them about how to implement guidance we understand in their particular business and we have some preparation there," said Ellen Leahy Missoula City-County Health Department Officer.

Confidence is crucial for businesses and customers.

"We need confidence for our business owners that they are proceeding on a predictable path that make their places of business as safe as possible we need confident employees who feel like they are going to a safe place to work and we need confident customers who feel like its safe to do business," said Grant Kier CEO of Missoula Economic Partnership .

So far the health department has taken feedback from area establishments about how they would like the process to go and officials are on the same page about their request.

"In the last day the majority the strong majority of messages that we have received have been for going more gradually and more clearly," said Leahy.

Both sides are pleased with the balance between health and business so far.

"Leahy has done a really good job of providing that really tough balance of getting the health considerations right but also resepecting the needs of that business comunity to have that kind of clarity and balance our economic needs," said Kier.

This is just phase one of the reopening plan. Phase two could see businesses like barber shops and gyms begin operations again.