Helping a Client Get the Word Out
I write blogs for Thornes Marketplace in Northampton to help raise awareness about events and individual shop owners. This month, I wrote a blog for Thornes about its extensive COVID-19 protocols, as area shoppers might be interested to know how Thornes is working to promote safety during a busy holiday season.
We know that our otherwise hearty Valley residents might be too frightened this year to venture out for holiday shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. We completely understand.
We have worked tirelessly, and at great expense, to promote safety at Thornes Marketplace—for shop owners, shoppers, and employees. So that you can make an informed decision about whether it feels comfortable for you to visit Thornes this season, we are outlining the measures we have taken in this blog.
Since June, we have:
- Invested heavily in many new protocols, putting equipment in place, including air filters that heighten air quality and foggers that sanitize the building nightly.
- Created a station for door monitors at each of the three open entrances to ensure that people entering Thornes wear masks and sanitize their hands.
- Asked anyone who refuses to wear a mask in the Thornes building to leave, also threatening trespass charges.
- Posted signage asserting that people wear a mask at all times and social distance. These signs are in place at over 50 locations within our popular shopping center.
- Installed hands-free door openers on bathroom doors.
- Installed touch-free sanitizer stations to minimize exposure.
- Reduced our standard holiday hours during the month of December by 35 percent. This allows more frequent cleanings during our off-hours.
- Replaced all common-space ceiling fans with UV fans designed to kill airborne pathogens.
- Added plexi-partitions at door-monitor stations to protect the monitors inside as they greet visitors and answer their questions.
- Placed a high-efficiency particulate air—or HEPA—filter in the passenger elevator fan. It forces air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles.
- Counted visitors by floor throughout the day to ensure we are managing our capacity counts and that social distancing requirements are being followed. Our counters move through the building every two hours Monday through Friday; on Saturdays, we are in the marketplace virtually all day long, monitoring the number of shoppers.
- Asked our shop owners to also count visitors to their stores, ensuring capacity counts are managed.
Many of the measures taken to ensure the safety of shoppers, shop owners, and their staff have gone beyond what is required by law and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Thornes Co-Owner Richard Madowitz said.
During a recent, impromptu walk through with a member of the Board of Health, we were told that Thornes is doing an outstanding job complying with city and state COVID-19 guidelines.
Also, many customers have offered positive feedback about Thornes’ protocols.
Nate Clifford, co-owner of Cornucopia with his wife, Jade Jump, who has been in the Thornes building continually since March—because Cornucopia is a grocery store and was not required to shut its doors in March.
“I’ve personally been here the whole time,” he said. “I’ve seen the evolution and the plethora of emails from Thornes management on the plan. I’m feeling blessed to be here with management that is spending tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, to make it a safe place to be.”