As people express the desire to get out of their homes and back into your business, it’s important to be prepared to welcome guests safely and to ensure you, your employees, and your customers are safe.

We highly recommend all those part of the Hospitality industry – lodging, dining, attractions, retail, entertainment, and transportation- take time to look over US Travel’s guide:
Travel in the New Normal: Industry Guidance for Promoting the Health and Safety of All Travelers.

Face coverings are currently required in all indoor public spaces in Blowing Rock.

Social distancing, hand washing, and protective measures will continue to be important. Customers, residents, and employees will all need to continue the Three Ws:

Get this sign from NC Department of Health and Human Services for businesses here.

Partner Toolkit – Restaurants

Relief Fund

President Joe Biden and the U.S. Small Business Administration are launching the Restaurant Relief Fund (RRF) to ensure restaurants get the help they need. In the American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law on March 11, Congress appropriated $28.6 billion for the Small Business Association (SBA) to award relief through the RRF Program until funds are expended. Fund recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as the funds are used for eligible purposes no later than March 11, 2023. Learn more here.

Watch the SBA’s webinar (previously recorded) about the RFF and submitting an application, here.

Partner Toolkit – Lodging

Making a Plan

Develop a written plan for yourself and your employees.
Explain the importance of the new procedures, and allow staff to ask questions to make sure they understand it fully.
Implement, then maintain and revise your plan based on guidance or your circumstances.

The Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have prepared a document to help all workplaces prepare!
This document includes detailed information about how to develop a plan, implement prevention measures, and more. The basics are covered in the first half of the document: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 

Day to Day Operations

The official training program to address COVID-19 concerns for NC hospitality businesses is part of the Count on Me NC program. These simple, FREE training modules will empower guests and businesses to help keep everyone safe and protected.  All training modules are online videos, about 30 minutes in length. Get certified, get listed, and give your guests confidence by posting the certification.

There are certain requirements and recommendations from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. See their materials for different types of businesses here.


The American Hotel & Lodging Association has launched their Safe Stay program. In addition to a resource directory, their own Enhanced Industry Wide Hotel Cleaning Standards offers concise and specific guidance for new standards.

The Vacation Rental Management Association released their Cleaning Guidelines for COVID-19, available in English and Spanish here.

Ecolab has compiled this detailed guidance intended to help you safely clean and disinfect your property as part of your reopening process:
Resuming Operations Guide

Ecolab’s Checklist is especially helpful prior to reopening:
Operational Readiness: Hospitality Reopening Checklist

Traveler Expectations

We know that travelers may have new expectations when traveling. Many now prefer to be provided with hand sanitizer, wipes, etc., and may check ahead regarding your cleaning procedures.

To inspire confidence in your guests:

-Share information about your cleaning practices on social media or send this information to your email subscribers.
-Post signs about best practices for guests, as well as your activities.
-Implement cleaning practices that your guests can see as part of your interactions with guests, like disinfecting point of sale screens or using hand sanitizer between customers.


More Resources for Local Hospitality

Hospitality Industry Webinars from VisitNC- free weekly topics, viewable live or recorded. Industry links and resources found here, too.
Industry Guidance from the NC Restaurant & Lodging Association- lots of free resources!
Recovery Readiness: A How-To Guide for Reopening Your Workplace– Very detailed guide addresses many concerns for property owners and employers.
The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Resource Guide includes small business financing and crisis relief information.

NC & Regional Resources

NC Department of Health & Human Services provides ongoing information on NC Executive Orders and NC crisis response.
App Health Care provides updates on COVID-19 cases in our area.

Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus & Staying Healthy

Coronavirus Information from the CDCOverall Coronavirus information.

How COVID-19 Spreads -How to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by the CDC.

CDC Handwashing Posters – Posters you can print out for your  business to promote clean hygiene.

Mental Health Resources from NC – Taking care of your mental health is important during this difficult time!