Stopping the spread of COVID-19, one small business at a time

(Toronto Sun)

After months of closures and uncertainty, Canadians are starting to get out of their homes and back into their local shops and restaurants. But the fears and anxiety about the spread of COVID-19 continue to weigh heavily.

That stress is compounded by the confusion born from inconsistent approaches to closing down and reopening our economy across the country. Many people still don’t feel confident going out, and small businesses are suffering.

Public health and government guidance may vary by region, but there is one indicator every Canadian can look for to know they are safe. The POST Promise logo in a storefront window is becoming a nationally recognized symbol of a businesses’ commitment to doing their part to protect the health and safety of their customers and employees as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Participating businesses commit to following five steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These steps include maintaining physical distance, washing and sanitizing hands, keeping workplaces clean and disinfected, telling employees to stay home if unwell, and practicing respiratory etiquette, including wearing a mask when recommended.

Businesses that make the POST Promise receive important information as to how they can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and they have direct access to the latest and most up-to-date government and public health information.

Across Canada, thousands of businesses are already participating, with more joining every day. The POST Promise is free and for the common good! The program has been designed to help consumers feel confident that the coffee shop, hardware store, or chiropractor’s office is aware and doing what they can to help slow the spread. Businesses can only use and display the POST Promise logo after receiving the COVID-19 health and safety information, and committing to the five steps.

The POST Promise is a private sector-led initiative, in collaboration with various levels of government, designed to help Canadians confidently and safely return to public spaces and the workplace. Organizations and associations representing more than 100,000 businesses across Canada have already endorsed the POST Promise. Our partners include the Business Council of Canada, Retail Council of Canada, Restaurants Canada, the Building Owners and Managers Association, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and the Canadian Global Cities Council.

Perhaps even more importantly, our members are mom-and-pop shops in small towns and big cities in every corner of this resilient country. By the time the first snow flies, you will find POST Promise signs on every Main Street in Canada, at your favourite diner, antique shop, and grocer.

We want to thank the businesses across Canada that have made the POST Promise. You are leaders in keeping your customers and employees safe as our communities reopen. We welcome more businesses, of all sizes and industries, to make the POST Promise by going to

We all have a role to play in keeping our communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Look for the sign, and if you don’t see it, help spread the word. Let’s stay healthy, support local businesses, and get our economy moving again, together.

Laura Hearn is the President and Executive Director of POST Promise.

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