Dear AMBC Members,

Many of you have asked recently whether you should stay open, modify hours, or close completely during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting local, county, or state-wide stay-at-home orders being enacted. While we can’t make this very important, tough decision for you, we can let you know that our businesses–mail, shipping, and business centers–are classified as “essential businesses” and therefore exempt from many of these edicts.

Essential businesses, such as yours, are needed by your customers, the general public, and the business community. Essential businesses are defined by the Department of Homeland Security (Presidential Policy Directive 21) as follows:

  • Businesses providing mail and shipping services, including private mailboxes.
  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home.
  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses with support or supplies necessary to operate.

FedEx has said that, “Due to the crucial role we play in moving supply chains and delivering critical relief, FedEx is considered an essential business and may continue to operate under state of emergency and shelter in place orders recently issued in the U.S. We have been and will continue to operate to and from impacted areas as local conditions and restrictions allow. Our FedEx Office retail locations are also providing vital access points to our global network, hold locations for redirected shipments and urgent printing support for government agencies and customers. The safety and well-being of our 475,000 team members is our top priority as they continue to deliver critical goods and services to support communities across the globe.”

Your health and safety, and the health and safety of your families and teams, are most important. If you choose to close during this pandemic, it will be with the full understanding and respect of your peers. And if you choose to stay open as an essential business, as many AMBC Members are doing, please do so with extreme caution and care:

  • Be sure to sanitize your door handles, cart handles, tape gun handles, tape measures, keyboards, mice, countertops, etc. as often as possible, multiple times per day
  • Maintain appropriate social distancing standards, avoiding person-to-person contact (hugs, handshakes, etc.) and trying not to touch things that your clients touch, and vice versa
    • Have clients take receipts directly from your receipt printer and put items in envelopes themselves, etc.
    • Have a container of clean, sanitized pens for your clients to use, having them place the used ones into another receptacle to sanitize again for future use
    • Wear gloves if it seems appropriate
  • Make it clear to your clientele that you are open for essential transactions as an essential business as mandated by your state; don’t encourage non-essential foot traffic
  • Most importantly, wash your hands as often as possible

Make sure you keep abreast to all local, state, and federal regulations and executive orders, refreshing the news daily as situations are changing by the hour in some locations. Your local Chamber of Commerce will likely be a great resource for the most up-to-date information on doing business in your area, along with your state-issued guidelines on essential business categories, definitions, and requirements.

We hope and pray that you all make wise decisions, protect yourselves, your team, and your families, and keep a positive, problem-solving, community-minded, helping hand attitude through this unprecedented situation. We are here for you and will be by your side through this.

With our best,
The AMBC Team