Mask-wearing can help local businesses

The Yellowstone County Economic Response and Recovery Team wants to remind everyone to do their part during this pandemic.

BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Yellowstone County Economic Response and Recovery Team wants to remind everyone to do their part during this pandemic.

John Brewer, CEO of the Billings Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the Restart Committee, says wearing a mask can help keep employees and customers protected, which could translate into more foot traffic, potentially keeping many local businesses afloat during the pandemic.

Not only do health officials say mask-wearing can keep you and others around you safe, but Brewer says mask-wearing can also give businesses a competitive advantage.  Brewer says the Chamber of Commerce sent out a poll a few weeks ago, asking people if they felt more safe going into a business if employees were wearing masks.  Results of the poll show those entering a restaurant felt 53% more safe if employees are masked-up, and consumers felt 47% safer entering a retail store when employees were wearing masks.  He also says consumers can do their part by putting on a mask in public.

"I don't look at it as hampering people's freedoms, because I know some people are concerned that they're getting their freedoms taken away if they wear masks.  And I see it as an opportunity for us to -- every time we step out of our house -- or step into a business -- we have the freedom to do so.  And we have that freedom, and the ability to keep our neighbors and our fellow Montanans safe by just simply masking up," says Brewer.

Brewer says the Yellowstone County Economic Response and Recovery Team is also monitoring hard-hit states like California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida, that have had to increase restrictions.  He says a roll back to Phase 1 in Montana could be devastating to many businesses.

For more information about the Yellowstone County Economic Response and Recovery Team, click here: https://yceconomicrecovery.org/

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