Back To Business

Safely Returning to Work During Recovery

Milwaukee is taking steps to safely welcome back workers and visitors alike. To better understand the pace and dynamics of employees returning to downtown office buildings for work, Milwaukee Downtown surveyed property owners and building managers. While the employees' return back to downtown is anticipated to be gradual for the remainder of 2020, we are encouraged and optimistic that the trends show a continual increases through the remainder of the year and into 2021. Click here for the survey summary.

Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely

In May 2020, Milwaukee City Officials released Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely, the COVID-19 Public Health Plan for the City of Milwaukee. The reopening strategy lays out a plan to modify restrictions on various business types as certain gateway metrics are met, is based on the foundations of federal, state of Wisconsin and Milwaukee County guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19 and bring back our economy. The latest phased reopening plan for the City of Milwaukee can be found here.

Badger Bounce Back Plan

Gov. Evers created the Badger Bounce Back plan for Wisconsin in order to decrease COVID-19 cases to a low level and increase the capacity in our health care system so businesses can begin opening in phases. Click here to view Wisconsin's current standing in the Badger Bounce Back plan and reported COVID-19 phases. 

Active Streets for Businesses - Expanded Outdoor Seating Into Winter

Consumer survey data continues to point to the importance of safely spaced outside seating areas as a business recovery strategy to make patrons more comfortable at restaurants and bars. After a successful summer in which more than a dozen downtown locations participated, Milwaukee Downtown continues its support for the Active Streets for Business program and its extension to March 15, 2021. The modified program gives businesses the flexibility to make winter modifications to their outside spaces (i.e. partial tenting, heating elements, etc.) when approved by the City of Milwaukee. The application and guidelines for the Winter Active Streets program can be found here.

Reopening Guidance and Toolkits

WEDC Guidelines and Toolkits

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) created new guidelines and best practices for businesses transitioning into recovery.

A few general guidelines provided by WEDC include:

  • Implement telework and other social distancing practices
  • Require employees to stay home when sick
  • Promote hand-washing
  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies for cleaning and disinfecting workspaces
  • In workplaces where it is not possible to eliminate face-to-face contact, consider assigning higher-risk employees work tasks that allow them to maintain a six-foot distance from others

WEDC provides more general guidelines here for keeping offices and workspaces clean, conducting meetings and implementing social distancing policies. If you’re looking for guidelines that are industry specific, visit WEDC’s website where they cover over 15 Wisconsin industries from agriculture and construction to salons and gyms. Be sure to visit these resources regularly as they are updated with new information as it becomes available.

BOMA International's Guide to Building Re-entry

BOMA International assembled a document, Getting Back to Work: Preparing Buildings for Re-Entry Amid COVID-19, that features guidelines for preparing commercial properties for the safe return of office tenants, building personnel, visitors, vendors and contractors. This document also identifies other operational and safety procedures that should be implemented, updated or enhanced. Click here to view the document.

MMAC Health & Safety Toolkit

MMAC and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) partnered to develop a toolkit to help businesses identify risks and implement health and safety procedures. Click here to view the toolkit.  

Milwaukee Magazine Stimulus Program

Milwaukee Magazine announced a $50,000 commitment to help small businesses attract new and returning customers by giving back. The magazine will match invested funds, dollar for dollar, to support these businesses in their advertising efforts. Click here to learn more.