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Temporary Closing

Smucker hall Salad Bar
You’ve worked hard. And you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. Your team, your product or service and the quality of your customer care all reflect the value attached to your brand. And protecting that is top of mind. You’ve just reported another good year, or promise of one, when you’re notified that your business must temporarily shut down. Now, you face decisions about what’s next for your business, your suppliers, your employees and your customers. And on top of that, shutting down an operation requires some planning.

When a business must shut its doors temporarily, it’s important to be sure that all is in good order until you open back up. And it will open back up. Make sure that your business is secure while not operating normally.

Let's talk about each step:

Let’s talk, staffing! Here are some helpful tips to help organize your staff until you can get back to normal.

  1. Create options for physical separation.
    • Promote social distancing through signage and barriers.
  2. Determine which roles need to be onsite.
    • Establish critical functions that will be continued and workforce planning needs.
  3. Review and reinforce new procedures.
    • Monitor and reinforce new protocol to ensure there is effective understanding and use.
  4. heck-in with employees frequently.
    • Establish methods to check on employees working alone and allow them to contact you in the event of an emergency.

Let’s talk, stabilization! Here are some helpful tips to help stabilize your operations until you can reopen.

  1. Identify third-party companies to help fill gaps. 
    • Support inventory
    • Provide specific (i.e. cleaning, waste removal and so on)
    • Security
    • Or other dependences to keep operations going.
  2. Establish back up measures and plans to continue needed operations from:
    • Gaps in supply chain
    • Absenteeism
    • Suspended services
    • Or other events that may occur as a result of the reason for temporary shutdown.
  3. Identify employees who are considered critical to during a shutdown or slowdown period.
    • What management, operations, security and safety features need to continue.

Let’s talk, communication! Here are some helpful tips to share your plans, keep employees, vendors and contractors in the loop.

  1. Make a plan.
  2. Share your shutdown plan with your leaders.
    • Set up consistent times each week to review plan and status with core leadership team members to update and communicate as needed.
  3. Train your expectations.
    • Update safety guidelines, training actions to support safe distancing, personal hygiene and use of appropriate personal protective equipment.
  4. Make plans and expectations visible.
    • Place signs and barriers that promote safe distancing and awareness to company safety standards.
  5. Involve others if necessary.
    • Review with facilities management or services contractor ability to shut off or suspend electrical, gas, water or other sources of energy and nonessential

Let’s talk, security! Here are some helpful tips to make your business a little more secure during a shutdown.

  1. Check your security equipment and make sure it’s working properly.
    • Exterior lighting
    • Fire alarms
    • Security alarms
    • Sprinkler systems (locked open and monitored)
    • Surveillance equipment
  2. Make sure your critical operations equipment is in good repair.
    • Freezers/Ovens
    • Air conditioning
    • Heating (recommend setting to 45° F to avoid freezing pipes and sprinklers)
    • Ventilation
  3. Set up a central monitoring system with local law enforcement.
    • Tie into central monitoring systems.
    • Notify policy of any vacancy and provide emergency contact information.
    • Establish a response team to be available to support effective response and management in emergencies, for example:
      • Fire Alarm activation
      • Broke water line
      • Equipment breakdown
      • Establish emergency contact protocol.
  4. Secure your building and automobiles.
    • Secure all building openings:
      • Doors
      • Windows
      • Roof access
      • Dock/loading doors
      • Fire doors – self-closing make sure they aren’t blocked
    • Consider barriers to restrict entry for areas you can’t lock.
    • Know who has access and what type of access everyone has.
    • Lock all vehicles and keep the keys in a lock box or safe.
    • Place group/pool vehicles in a locked area with external lighting.
  5. Clean, deep clean, and clean some more!
    • Relocate flammable or hazardous materials (liquids, aerosols, compress gas) to an offsite location or place in approved storage room or cabinet.
    • Remove and limit any debris or unneeded storage.
    • Move pallets, containers, outside storage or debris at least 50 feet from the building.


    • Arrange to mitigate a potential fire spread to building openings, key areas or gaining access to the roof


Let’s talk, support! Asking questions helps parse through difficult situations to reach a conclusion or decision. Use your resources to gain support for your situation.

  1. Contact your insurance agent. 
  2. Check with your legal counsel if you are amending or entering new contracts or agreements. 
  3. Talk with peers, partners and others to understand how they are managing through this time or can help.