For Fort Collins
COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses
Larimer County Public Health Order Requiring Masks in Public Indoor Spaces Effective Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Masks or face coverings are now required to be worn in public indoor spaces in Larimer County. Larimer County Public Health officials have issued this order to help slow the transmission of the virus. Those who are not yet vaccinated are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated without delay.
Why Universal Masking?
Recently, local hospital ICUs have been operating at or above 100% of the level of customary care, while fewer residents have been getting vaccinated. Currently, 40% of patients in the ICU have COVID-19 and 90% are unvaccinated. Universal mask wearing can help slow transmission of the virus and relieve local hospitals while more people get vaccinated.
All businesses must post clearly visible signs at public and staff/employee entrances informing customers, guests, visitors, and employees of the requirement to wear a face covering inside. Examples of approved signage:
Vaccine Verified Facility & Event Program
Facilities and businesses that wish to implement mandatory vaccination policies for staff, patrons, and guests have the opportunity to apply to become an Approved Vaccine Verified Facility and be exempted from the mask requirements with approval from Larimer County Public Health and Environment (LCDHE).
More information about the program, including how to apply can be found here.
Orden de Salud Pública del Condado de Larimer que exige mascarillas al interior de espacios públicos
Se requiere el uso de mascarillas o protectores faciales al interior de espacios públicos en el condado de Larimer. Los funcionarios de Salud Pública del Condado de Larimer han emitido esta orden para ayudar a frenar la transmisión del virus. Se recomienda encarecidamente a los que aún no están vacunados que se vacunen sin demora.
¿Por qué es necesario el uso universal de la mascarilla?
Recientemente, las Unidades de Cuidados Intensivos de los hospitales locales han estado funcionando al 100% o por encima del nivel de atención habitual, a la vez que menos residentes se han vacunado. Actualmente, el 40% de los pacientes de la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos tienen COVID-19 y el 90% no están vacunados. El uso universal de mascarillas puede ayudar a frenar la transmisión del virus y aliviar a los hospitales locales mientras más personas se vacunan.
Todas las empresas deben colocar carteles claramente visibles en las entradas del público y del personal/empleados que informen a los clientes, invitados, visitantes y empleados del uso obligatorio de una protección facial en los espacios interiores. Ejemplos de señalización aprobada:
Programa de instalaciones y eventos con verificación de vacunas
Los establecimientos y negocios que deseen implementar políticas de vacunación obligatoria para el personal, los clientes y los invitados tienen la oportunidad de solicitar convertirse en un Establecimiento Aprobado con Verificación de Vacunas y quedar exentos de los requisitos de mascarilla con la aprobación de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente del Condado de Larimer (LCDHE).
Puede encontrar más información sobre el programa, incluida la forma de presentar su solicitud, aquí.
Fort Collins Businesses Share Your Recovery Ideas
The pandemic has brought serious challenges to our community, impacting virtually every aspect of our lives, often exacerbating previously existing issues. As we begin to shift from response to recovery, we know we cannot return to the pre-pandemic status quo, but instead need to focus on a recovery that benefits all.
As we develop the Recovery Plan and prioritize spending of ARPA funding, we want to hear your ideas about what a vibrant and resilient recovery looks like for our community and what priorities should be focused on as we work to build back stronger.
Check out the following tools and resources created to help you gain support from loyal customers and community members while ensuring their health and safety through physical distancing.
Business Marketing Toolkit and Resources
Check Out Our Social Post Creator
Download Our Safer At Home Business Plan
Business Marketing Toolkit and Resources
We know you’re working to stay open safely and it’s time to tell the community how they can support your business! Use this marketing toolkit to easily communicate and encourage the ways in which the Fort Collins community can rally behind you.
Ask Your Customers to Buy Giftcards or Pre-Pay for Services
Just because your customers aren’t actively taking advantage of your services doesn’t mean that they can’t pre-pay for when they will! Encourage customers to call your business or go online to pre-pay for your services by buying a gift card or by creating an option to purchase a service online for a future date.
For example, if you own a salon, you can ask that haircuts or nail appointments are booked and paid for in advance or, for our restaurant businesses, offer gift cards for a future round of drinks. These transactions can be handled over the phone or online.
- Make it as easy and seamless as possible for your customers to purchase from you by integrating an online transaction tool into your website
- If you can’t accept online payments, use an online form to gather information and call to collect payment
- Send handwritten thank you notes to those who do purchase a gift card or prepay for services – the more interesting or heartfelt the note, the more likely your customer will share it with the world increasing your reach!
To set up Gift Cards on your Instagram profile, learn more here.
Promote Delivery or Curbside Pickup Options
If you are offering delivery or curbside pickup, clearly state how customers can participate in that process with a clear call to action and no more than a three step plan.
For example, for a restaurant this could be:
- Choose from Our Online Delivery Menu
- Complete Your Online Purchase
- Pick Up Curbside and Enjoy!
Be sure to promote your options by leveraging your current marketing tools. For example, send an email, post to Facebook and Instagram and be sure to state on your website that you are still open for business and the ways in which your customers can receive your product or services.
If you are a restaurant, and you don’t have the resources to deliver, use a service such as NocoNosh to get orders into the homes of your customers.
Ways to promote Delivery or Curbside Pickup Options:
- Post on Facebook and Instagram
- Update Your Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor or Other Listing Website
- Send an Email to Your Email List
- Add to Your Website Homepage
Ask Your Audience for Reviews and Referrals
Asking for reviews is not only free, but it is also simple and incredibly impactful. People trust one another more than they trust advertising messages – and studies show that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business or purchasing a product.
There are a ton of review websites out there, but we recommend focusing on the following, in order of importance:
- Google My Business – for all businesses with a physical location
- Facebook – for all businesses
- TripAdvisor – for all tourism, entertainment and dining businesses
- Yelp – for all B2C businesses
- Angie’s List – for contractors and home improvement businesses
Ask Your Followers to SHARE Your Posts
- Support your business by sharing your posts with their friends or forwarding an email to their networks
- Post images of themselves patronizing your business in one way or another – wearing swag, holding your product, in front of your location, etc.
- Share how they are #ForFoCo and let’s spread the message!
Download & Display Signage for Safety Protocols
Use Video in Your Content Strategy
Video is engaging! Why use more video in your social media content strategy?
- 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook videos a week
- 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos
- Social video generates 12 times more shares than static posts
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text
Use a Multi-Link Tool on Instagram
Whether you decide to use a tool like Linktr.ee or to build a multi-link page on your website, it is always a good idea to have some sort of a multi-link tool that links from your Instagram bio. This allows you to provide multiple links via one umbrella link, so your followers can quickly access the things you talk about in your social posts. Here are examples of links to include in your multi-link tool:
- Our Website
- About Us
- Recent Article
- Upcoming Event
Know How Many Hashtags to Use on Each Platform
On Facebook, engagement can actually go down when you use more than one hashtag. Facebook’s ideal character limit is relatively low (between 40 and 80 characters), and posts with only one hashtag are the most engaging on Facebook.
On Instagram, hashtags are used quite differently. The algorithm allows for your post to appear on each individual hashtag’s page that you use in your posts. You can use up to 30 hashtags on an Instagram post and up to 10 on an Instagram Story. However, just because you can use that many doesn’t mean you should. Be sure that the hashtags you choose are relevant to the content you’re publishing.
Optimize Your Facebook & Instagram Profiles to Include Important Information
When a customer finds your social platforms, assume that they know nothing about your business. Optimize your profiles completely by filling out the “About” section on your Facebook Page (Facebook just rolled out a new layout, so some of these “About” section options are new!), and also by filling out your entire Instagram bio with important information. Remember to include where your business is physically located (town and state at a minimum), what you do, how they can contact you, and how they can purchase your products or learn more about your services (via a link in bio). Since there is a text limit of 150 characters, get creative through the use of emojis and short descriptions.
Utilize New Features on Social Media Platforms
When you utilize new features as social platforms roll them out, your content will be prioritized. For example, Instagram just added their Reels feature. Businesses are seeing high engagement numbers on their Instagram Reels because Instagram is prioritizing that type of content over stories, posts, live videos, and IGTV.
Not only will you see a boost in your engagement, but you will also be ahead of the game when you utilize new features early and often!
Add Your Main CTA to the Heading of Your Website
Whatever your most important CTA (call-to-action) is, make sure to include it in the top heading of your website. Ideally, you will include a button with your CTA on the far right side of your website heading, since that is where most people look for a CTA button.
When it is obvious what you want your customers to do, they will be way more likely to do it. If your customers have to search for your “Book Now” or “Shop” button, they will likely give up after a few seconds. Make it easy for them to do what you want them to do!
Safer At Home Business Plan
We know that the safety of your staff and customers is vital to the success of your business and that’s why we’ve created our Safer At Home Business Reopening Plan and Checklist. This document has everything you need to reopen your business safely and in accordance with the Governor’s Office. From sanitation measures to internal policies, we outline things to think about, guidelines and resources and best practices.
Visit NoCoRecovers.com for information about business relief and additional resources.