Today, the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), alongside the Jefferson Parish Council & Administration, released the Jefferson Back to Business Plan. This comprehensive strategy, developed in concert with medical leaders and an industry task force, will enable Jefferson Parish to reopen the economy in a way that is thoughtful, careful and rooted in public health to ensure the safety of residents and employees.
The COVID-19 pandemic created grave and unprecedented challenges for Jefferson Parish, with a significant blow to the physical, emotional and economic health of the community. JEDCO and Jefferson Parish committed to the development of a plan that allows for incremental progress in returning to regular work and life.
JEDCO did extensive research on restarting business operations across the country and within the state, seeking guidance and best practices from industry and health experts. The phases and recommendations outlined within the Jefferson Back to Business Plan align with Louisiana’s current policy as well as guidance for other states and communities. The Jefferson Back to Business Plan details instructions, recommendations, restrictions, and suggested phasing for progressively and safely opening businesses and gathering spaces in Jefferson Parish. The Back to Business Plan includes:
• Guiding principles for recovery, such as prioritizing health systems and ensuring widespread testing for the public
• General safety guidance, such as continued social distancing and wearing face masks in public
• General guidance for employers, including health & hygiene safety standards for offices and work stations
• Industry specific guidance for restaurants, retailers, salons & spas, hospitality, childcare facilities, movie theaters, places of worship and more.
• Phases for restarting business and what each phase will look like
• Valuable resources, contact information and access to PPE & testing supplies
Jefferson Parish will reopen the economy in three phases based on contact risk and mitigation strategies for various industries. The Jefferson Back to Business plan outlines benchmarks for moving into new phases with limitations and restrictions in place. The plan will be done in communication and cooperation with medical experts and in adherence to federal guidelines. Jefferson Parish reserves the right to divert from this plan if new guidance or data call for revised actions in order to best serve community and public health needs.
To develop this plan, JEDCO sought feedback from business leaders across multiple industries, including economic and business development, professional services, logistics & maritime, retail and restaurants, manufacturing, and childcare and early learning. The plan was also reviewed by medical experts from Ochsner Health System, LCMC Health, HCA/Tulane Lakeside, and East Jefferson General Hospital.
“Through this comprehensive plan, we are laying the foundation and the roadmap to help Jefferson Parish get back to business safely and successfully,” said JEDCO President & CEO Jerry Bologna. “We understand how critical it is for our business community to have clear guidance and support as they begin resuming operations. We believe the precautions called for in this plan will help to reinstate customer confidence and ensure a successful return to business.”
“The safety and health of our community is at the forefront of this thorough and holistic approach to reopening the Jefferson Parish economy,” said Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng. “We know this has been a difficult time for our business community and for the livelihoods of many of our residents. The Jefferson Parish Council and Administration are dedicated and determined to bring business back to Jefferson Parish as quickly and safely as we can. The Jefferson Back to Business Plan will be an excellent resource for business owners as they prepare to reopen once the Stay at Home order has been lifted. I commend JEDCO, the Jefferson Parish Council, the Economic Resilience Industry Task Force, and our medical experts for their crucial work on this document, which we believe will have a far-reaching and successful impact on the economic future of our Parish.”
The Jefferson Back to Business Plan is a working document. JEDCO and Jefferson Parish have released this plan in order to give businesses ample time to prepare for reopening. The guidelines and recommendations outlined within this plan are subject to change based upon updated Federal and State regulations and Jefferson Parish discretion. JEDCO will ensure businesses are kept apprised of any updates to the Jefferson Back to Business Plan as they occur.