“Stay Safe to Stay Open,” a partnership between the Salt Lake Chamber and the Utah Department of Health, is going statewide with its campaign to help businesses deal with restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign is taking two colorfully adorned vans around the state to invite hundreds of businesses to take its “Stay Safe to Stay Open” pledge. By taking the pledge, business owners can earn recognition for doing what it takes to stay open, while consumers who patronize those businesses know the places where they shop are safe and clean.

“It’s a way to make people feel comfortable when they come shopping,” Gov. Gary Herbert said at a campaign kickoff event. “It says to the marketplace that this is a safe place to shop.”

More than 2,100 Utah businesses have pledged to support the public health measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus.

It’s “a year none of us could have anticipated,” said Aubriana Martindale, corporate affairs manager for Smith’s Food & Drug, one of the first corporations to take the pledge. “We know that food is essential, so we had to keep our doors open,” she said. The grocer has implemented a number of safety protocols, including a mask requirement, in order to keep people who shop at their stores safe. Martindale also said the stores have implemented stricter cleaning schedules and have hired additional employees to keep up with all the extra demands.

The vans and teams of field ambassadors will be visiting businesses across the state for the next three months. Various demographics and population studies will dictate where the routes they take. One team enlisted 80 of the 100 businesses they visited recently in the Sugar House area, according to campaign ambassador Alex Goodman.

“They’re not giving up anything to join us,” Goodman said, adding that his job is to help businesses follow the proper public health protocols. “Look for us out on the road,” Goodman added.

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