Dear Monroe Businesses,
On March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a Proclamation directing all residents immediately to heed current State public health directives to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors and additional sectors as the State Public Health Officer may designate as critical to protect health and well-being of all Washingtonians. This order takes place on March 25th, 2020 at midnight.
Prior to the order, some of you reached out to the city requesting guidance on who is designated as “essential businesses” and would be allowed to operate during a shut down. The Governor’s office has provided a list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help state, local, tribal, and industry partners as they work to protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.
Please review the PDF link above (If you are unable to view the link please contact me directly on my cell listed below) and if you feel your business is identified as an “essential businesses”, we would ask you to please notify us and let us know the address of the facility where workers will be present and the number of employees who will be present. We also ask that businesses operating during the shutdown do their best to reduce staff to only those necessary for basic operations/production, plan to ensure social distancing on production lines and follow other guidelines outlined in the US Dept. of Labor/OSHA Guidelines for workplace safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. Any repeated violations of an order to cease operations of non-essential businesses will be referred to the Snohomish County Health Dept. who has the authority to close businesses during the quarantine. In the event of any disputes regarding what is and what isn't "essential", the determination will be made by the Washington Military Dept. During such a dispute the businesses will be closed and must submit a request for an exemption from Disaster Area Re-Entry Application website in order to re-open. The business will remain closed until an adjudication is reached by the WMD.
Neither the City of Monroe, nor the Monroe Police Department have any desire to make any arrests for violations of this order. The department views its enforcement role as one of engagement and education with the citizens, educating people on how to keep themselves and their families safe and most importantly, to keep the rest of the community safe, especially vulnerable populations.
We understand that the economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak are likely to be great. While we are keeping an eye on the immediate needs of the quarantine trying to keep our community safe, we have an eye on the recovery which will be national in scope and coordinated across state, county and local governments. The City, the Monroe Chamber, and the Downtown Monroe Association are working together to ensure that recovery happens as quickly as possible and our businesses are informed of the community's recovery strategy and is able to access those resources intended to help with the recovery. We will get through this together, as we have through previous crisis.
It goes without saying we are in uncharted waters. Even with the most diligent attempts at providing accurate information, the "Fog of War" often makes the situation nebulous at best. We will continue to update the business community on the status of the closure as well as announcements about the recovery and other forms of relief being made available. As always, the City of Monroe website will have the most current information on its special COVID-19 page. If you have questions please contact the Monroe Economic Development Specialist, James Palmer, at 360-631-0050 (cell) or email JPalmer@MonroeWA.gov
Thank you for your cooperation. Stay safe Monroe!
Message from Monroe Chamber of Commerce Executive Director:
Dear Monroe business & organizations,
I want our Monroe businesses to know the Chamber is here for you, we are your resource during this time for information and working with the City of Monroe to distribute the latest information regarding business and Covid19. We are checking our emails every day Monday through Sunday to be available to you.
The Chamber has also launched in partnership with KRKO radio this AD for Monroe business that is playing on the radio now: SHOP LOCAL Monroe KRKO.mp3
We are working hard to find information on the latest aid for small businesses in our community and are releasing that information to you as well as working with other Snohomish County Chamber Executive Directors to bring free webinars and other means of business resources from SBA, US Chamber of Commerce & AWB. Be sure to check your emails titled "MONROE BUSINESS UPDATE".
Lastly, the Chamber launched on www.choosemonroe.com a delivery & takeout page for our restaurant sector of Monroe as well as a public Facebook group "Monroe's Delivery & Takeout Options Amid Covid19" for the community and businesses offering takeout, curbside and delivery options.
Thank you Monroe businesses for letting me work for you, to support and fuel our local economy and I hope all of us stay safe & healthy during this time. We are Monroe Strong and WILL get through this storm together.
Janelle Drews, Executive Director
Sarah Rosado, Operations Manager
Monroe Chamber of Commerce