Upper Valley Businesses: Open & Safe

We’re taking a moment to appreciate businesses who are taking every precaution to keep their facilities safe for you to visit. In the face of a pandemic, we recognize that businesses need to open—both to provide important services to the community but also to support local employment and economic stability.

We hope the good work by these business will inspire consumers to feel safe visiting their local Upper Valley businesses, and will provide helpful information for other businesses to open safely.

Featuring: COVER Home Repair - White River Junction, VT

Hand Hygiene Stations

Current guidelines maintain that is important to wash your hands well and often, especially after visiting public spaces, or after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing. If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, then you can use hand sanitizer. There are many Upper Valley businesses that are supporting good hand hygiene practices for both their employees and their customers.

To showcase one such business that has risen to the challenge, Upper Valley Strong interviewed Mitch Ross, COVER Store Manager at COVER Home Repair in White River Junction, about how COVER has changed their business practices in order to safely serve their customers. 

The COVER Store has responded to the coronavirus by:

  • Implementing a hand sanitizer station at the front door
  • Requiring customers and employees to wear masks
  • Providing free masks to customers who do not have one

Pictured: Customers use handwashing station at the COVER Store in White River Junction, VT.

Pictured: COVER Staff pictured at the COVER Store. (Image by Mountain Graphics Photography.)

Read the full interview with Mitch Ross, COVER Store Manager:

Q: Since the COVER Store has re-opened, what have you done to keep customers safe from exposure to the coronavirus?

Mitch Ross: “Well, in Vermont all retail employees are required to wear cloth masks.  But we want to make sure everyone is safe as possible, so we require all customers and volunteers who work in our store to wear a face mask.”

“We worked hard to make sure our customers know we are open and safe. And you know what: sales have improved every week.”

Q: What happens if a customer comes to the COVER store and does not have a mask?

Mitch: “We offer the customer a free mask made by one of our store staff members.  During the quarantine period, Kathy made hundreds of masks at home for the hospitals and first responders.  So, we asked her to make ones we could give to COVER customers once we re-opened.”

Q: What else have you done to make customers safe?

Mitch: “We bought gallons of hand sanitizer from a local distillery and have a station at the entrance to our store with a sign asking everyone to wash their hands before they enter the store. Customers have been very responsive and we are grateful for that.”

Q: What difference do you think these practices have made?

Mitch: “We have a lot of regular customers.  People who come in every week.  People we know on a first name basis.  The first week we were open, only a small number of customers came into the store.  Now we have seen almost all of our regulars back as well as new customers.  We worked hard to make sure our customers know we are open and safe. And you know what: sales have improved every week.”

Read more about other health and safety initiatives by local Upper Valley businesses:

Supporting Physical Distancing

Other Local Businesses with Hand Hygiene Stations

Dan & Whit’s
Norwich, VT

Outdoor Dining at Wicked Awesome BBQ, White River Junction VT

Wicked Awesome BBQ
White River Junction, VT

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
Various Locations

Nefertiti Nails
Hanover, NH

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COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

“Science & Practices to Keep Workers Safe and Businesses Productive as the COVID-19 Pandemic Changes.”

Featuring video recordings and PowerPoint presentations from the recent Dartmouth-Hitchcock course.

CDC Resources for Businesses and Workplaces

Providing free resources for a safe opening, ongoing virus mitigation, as well as prevention and support.

OSHA: Guidance on Preparing
Workplaces for COVID-19

Download OSHA’s brochure for recommendations and information to provide a safe and healthful workplace.

COVID-19 Resources from NH Department of Health and Human Services

Information for all businesses in the State as well as their partners to help ensure all those involved have correct and up-to-date information about the ongoing outbreak.

Download a Free Toolkit from Mask of Wellness

Give customers confidence to patronize your business; knowing it’s following our three simple ‘Covid-Conscious’ practices of masks, hygiene, and health. 

Face Mask Promotion Campaigns


This Vermont campaign includes tools that you can use and personalize with your own business logo:

Social media posts
Sample posts and text


Campaign toolkit