Anxious about a business' COVID-19 safety standards? This website gives you the rundown

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto-based company OneLocal has launched a free online tool allowing consumers to see a checklist of what a business is doing to comply with COVID-19 public health measures. The goal is to build trust and ease consumers’ fears and anxiety about going back into businesses again. Miranda Anthistle reports.

Wearing masks and gloves has become the new norm and according to one survey, consumers want to see that a business is following COVID-19 safety standards.

The digital marketing company OneLocal surveyed over one thousand people and found four out of five respondents wouldn’t enter a small business unless it complied with safety regulations. It also found 89 per cent want those regulations publicly posted.

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“People are looking for reassurance. A lot of the education has fallen to small businesses for them to tell consumers what they should be looking out for,” said OneLocal’s Director of Operations, Maggie McIntyre.

“Consumers like being able to see very easily on a website what the business is doing before they even approach the business.”

Hoping to help ease consumers’ fears as they get back to interacting with others in-person, OneLocal has launched the free online tool COVIDSAFE.SERVICES which allows consumers to see a checklist of what a business is doing to comply with COVID-19 public health measures.

There are photos on the website, and if consumers have concerns or complaints, the tool keeps the businesses accountable.

“The goal is to build trust between both parties. We take issues seriously… A member of our team can investigate either working with the business to solve the problem, or flagging or removing a profile if necessary,” said McIntyre.

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For CSN 427 Auto Collision in Etobicoke, Ont., signing up to COVIDSAFE.SERVICES was an easy decision. The business has been around for nearly half a century. But due to the pandemic, its operations have decreased by 75 per cent and it’s lost almost 50 per cent of its workforce.

“We want to reassure everyone that it is safe for them to come in. We’re doing everything we possibly can … We have sanitized your vehicle, anything you touch in the office is sanitized. The staff all wear PPE, we have hand sanitizing stations and if you want to stay in your vehicle, staff will go outside to do a curbside estimate,” explained manager Violetta Kaczor.

This list of measures can be found on the website which also works with medical professionals who help make the guidelines easier to follow for both businesses and consumers.

“The medical professionals distill information from governments, trade associations, and public health organizations .… They zero in on the guidelines that are most important to not only keep consumers and employees safe, but also set their minds at ease,” said McIntyre.

COVIDSAFE.SERVICES is working with hundreds of businesses in industries that are starting to reopen. It has also started reaching out to trade associations and governments getting their feedback on what they would like to see and helping them understand which of their members are following the guidelines.

The website currently lists businesses in North America and Australia.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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