With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging through Missouri, some businesses are taking a stand to show their commitment to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus.
As part of a program included in the state’s Show Me Strong Recovery Plan, these businesses — and citizens as well — are doing so by taking the “Show Me Strong Pledge.”
This voluntary, honor-based pledge — first introduced during the summer — is intended to show that the business or individual is dedicated to following basic CDC guidance, including encouraging physical distancing, cleaning and sanitation, wearing a face mask or face covering when social distancing isn’t possible, and proper hand-washing.
Businesses that take the pledge are easily identifiable by the certificate they receive from the state. Individuals can show their support by adding the Show Me Pledge frame to their social media profile.
Villainous Grounds in Perryville is among the latest to joining the list of businesses across the state that have taken the pledge.
“I had seen it on Instagram and Facebook,” said owner Mary Jo Bammel, “and I thought, ‘Oh, what is this?’ It’s a way to advertise that you are doing the responsible thing.”
Bammel proudly displays the certificate she received from the state in her front window, a high traffic area since the family-owned coffee and comic book shop has been curbside service only for all but one week since March.
“I’ve been posting it on my social media, hoping to get the word out there that this is something that’s being recognized,” Bammel said. “I know a couple other businesses that are doing it. I don’t know if they have the certification or not.”
According to the Show Me Strong Pledge website, taking the pledge, especially as economic activity increases, “shows your employees and consumers that their safety is a priority.”
Businesses that agree to follow the best practices guidelines and complete the Show Me Strong Pledge form will receive a printable Show Me Strong Pledge certificate to display at the business, be featured on the Show Me Strong Pledge website with other participating businesses, and receive social media assets to help show customers and staff that the business is doing its part to fight against COVID-19.
Bammel said taking the pledge was also personal for her and her family.
“It’s more for our own peace of mind that we can post that we are doing this,” Bammel said. “I don’t look for it to boost sales — I don’t know if anyone is paying attention to that — but it’s for our own peace of mind.”
The pledge includes several sections, ranging from Physical Distancing to “Healthy Hands,” “Cleaning And Sanitization,” “Personal Protective Equipment,” “Self-Screening” and “Planning & Response.”
“This shows that we’re doing the responsible thing,” Bammel said.
For more information about the Show Me Strong Pledge, visit the website at https://showmestrong.mo.gov/pledge.