businesspeople standing in a busy street of commuters
As the country navigates through COVID-19, business owners need to be aware not only of federal reopening guidance, but also state-specific requirements. — Getty Images/gremlin

During the past few months, state and city governments took extraordinary measures to close businesses in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Now states and cities are allowing businesses to reopen, and companies across many industries are looking for clarity on what exactly is allowed in their states.

Some states, for example, are allowing businesses of all kinds to reopen but are requiring employees and customers to wear masks. In other states, employers must conduct health screenings for employees before they start their shifts. All in all, it can be difficult to keep track of all the changes.

Here are state and federal resources that have been developed to assist businesses that are trying to navigate how to reopen properly.

The best state-level resources

Here are the three ways to keep track of what is happening at the state level when it comes to reopening businesses:

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce: The U.S. Chamber has developed a comprehensive state-by-state reopening guide to help businesses understand reopening rules, no matter which state they reside in. The guide features an interactive state map with timelines, reopening information, regulations, advisories and more. This resource will continue to be updated by the U.S. Chamber as more guidance is issued in each state.
  • State government websites: One of the best ways to obtain up-to-date information on what is happening in your state is through the state government’s homepage and department pages. These websites are often being updated daily with new guidelines that apply to both businesses and individuals. You can view a full list of official state websites and state agencies through usa.gov.
  • State-level social media accounts: While social media can be noisy and feature disinformation, state and local governments have become adept at releasing helpful information via their official social media accounts. These accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms often share real-time data about COVID-19 at the state level and carry press conferences with local leaders detailing state-level guidance. Make sure to check that the government social media account is "verified" on each platform (usually with a checkmark) to ensure you are getting legitimate information.

On top of the state-level requirements, it’s also important to note where things stand on a federal level.

Important federal guidance

On top of the state-level requirements, it’s also important to note where things stand on a federal level. President Trump has deferred to state governors about when and how to reopen non-essential businesses in each state. However, some federal guidance has been issued that can help advise businesses — no matter what state they are located in — on how to take to new safety precautions. These three federal resources can help:

For more resources from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

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Published May 19, 2020