Local mayors reveal Look, Ask, Share campaign to coincide with Gov. Little’s four-stage plan
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CLARIFICATION:Municipal officials stress that no one is suggesting customers report businesses that do not use safety guidelines, or who decide not to be part of this program.
IDAHO FALLS — In conjunction with Gov. Brad Little’s four-phase plan to reopen Idaho’s economy, the cities of Idaho Falls and Ammon have introduced their Look, Ask, Share campaign.
The Look, Ask, Share campaign allows local businesses to go to eilocalgems.com and fill out an online form pledging to follow guidelines for mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
“Businesses are anxious to open. It is important in this climate that we have confidence, and that everyone is confident going into businesses and feeling like they’re going to be safe,” Ammon Mayor Sean Coletti said during a news conference Wednesday.
Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper explained that when a business fills out the form they will receive a Look, Ask, Share poster that the business can place in its window, letting customers know they have pledged to follow the safety guidelines.
“Displaying this poster, or this graphic, in your window lets everybody know that this business — your business — is an Eastern Idaho Local Gem,” Casper said. “Gems are businesses that have plans to protect their customers.”
Local Gems is a program put forward by Idaho Sen. Jim Risch and Little, to help give local businesses an economic boost during the governor’s stay-home order.
“It allows customers to be confident while they’re shopping, or eating, or frequenting these establishments,” Casper said.
The campaign is meant to inspire customers to look and see if the business they are visiting has the poster and ask them to go online and take the pledge if they don’t have it. Customers are also asked to share the good experiences they’ve had from businesses that do have the poster.
“We’re going to be encouraging everybody to participate in it. We want businesses to be back open and to be functioning fully,” Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce CEO Chip Schwarze said.
Schwarze said that the campaign is consumer-driven. There is no government oversight and other than the governor’s tipline, already in place, the campaign does not provide for any enforcement of the governor’s order.
During the news conference, a reporter asked officials what happens if someone prints off a sign, but doesn’t have a plan in place to provide a healthy and safe environment.
“If the consumer goes in and sees that they’re not (following the guidelines) they’re going to share it. If they share it and it’s a bad review nobody else is going to go in and the business will pay a price for it,” Schwarze responded.
Municipal officials stressed, however, that no one is suggesting customers report businesses that do not use safety guidelines, or who decide not to be part of this program.
Casper said the campaign does not modify or change anything about Little’s four-stage plan to reopen Idaho businesses.
The plan allows almost all retail stores and houses of worship to open in the first stage, May 1 to 15. Restaurants and hair salons would open in the second stage, May 16 to 29. Gatherings of up to 50 people would be allowed in the third, May 30 to June 12. Bars would reopen in the fourth, June 13 to 26.
“The intent of this is to help us meet those dates. Help us to be prepared for those dates so we can get through this plan reopen everything as fast as we can,” Coletti said.