The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama hosts weekly webinars with businesses, to give updates and express problems as local stores and restaurants navigate the pandemic. During the most recent webinar, local business leaders discussed reopening.

The Chamber also worked with West Alabama Works to create a “Work Hard, Work Smart, Work Safe” playbook for businesses when they prepare to resume operations in the next few weeks.

Jay Welburn with Piggly Wiggly participated in the Chamber’s most recent webinar and spoke about how his grocery has worked to promote social distancing and keep the store as clean as possible.

“We were very, very fortunate to have an online grocery shopping app that we had just developed,” Welburn said. “We had spent a lot of time throughout 2019 putting this together. It wasn’t a ton of demand in the initial launch of the app, but it has been a true difference maker for us.”

Rick Clemens, who serves as general council for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, was also on the call. He said that the Mercedes plant in Vance has been shut down for five weeks, but there are plans to return to work Monday with 30% of employees coming back.

The plant will stagger the return of workers throughout May to promote social distancing.

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