A collaborative effort to identify best
practices for Lansing regional employers to reengage operations, while ensuring the safety of employees and customers.


The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new norm for us and how we conduct business. We are navigating challenging times and unknown landscapes, and understanding the magnitude of the crisis related to our families, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and community.

The Greater Lansing economy’s diverse nature reflects the strong partnerships that have helped our region effectively manage the pandemic. As we enter a post-COVID-19 economy, we must be diligent in taking necessary precautions to provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees, and a place of business for customers, the community, and visitors. Business, government, education, and community leaders must continue to work together to find a balance that incorporates safety and economic opportunity so our region can continue to prosper as we successfully reopen and sustain economic growth and resiliency.

We thank you for your support as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times together. We will preserve and be stronger as we lead the region into a successful transition, which will transpire the return of a thriving, robust regional economy.

Thank you to our collaborators

Lansing Region’s Response to COVID-19

The RELAUNCH Greater Lansing: Economic Rehabilitation Task Force consists of prominent and trusted leaders in business, government, healthcare, and education who are dedicated to creating a successful regional relaunch strategy for Greater Lansing. This task force was carefully and strategically assembled to provide guidance as we determine the best, most effective way to move forward. To-date, the task force has provided a resource guide to serve as a blueprint for restarting business operations, and ensured proper health protocols are in place to reestablish employee and consumer confidence in restoring business operations and build economic resiliency.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan is focused on reengaging Michigan’s economy by a regional, phased-in approach. Under the Governor’s plan, Greater Lansing is part of Region 5, which includes Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, and Shiawassee counties.

Task Force Goals and Objectives

  • Work closely with the state to provide and communicate the necessary guidelines to support employers throughout the region.
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy for industries within the Greater Lansing region to reopen business safely and successfully.
  • Collaborate with business and education leaders to find a balance that incorporates safety and economic opportunity so the region can continue to prosper, and our children’s future remains bright.

As we begin to reopen certain aspects of our regional economy, now is the time to remain diligent in taking the necessary precautions to provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees, customers, and the community. We are confident the RELAUNCH Greater Lansing Task Force will thoughtfully lead the region into a successful transition, which will transpire into the return of a thriving, robust regional economy.

MI Safe Start Plan

Our goal is to closely align relaunch efforts with guidelines established by the state

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan outlines how the state will begin to reengage while keeping our communities safe. Reengagement will happen in phases. Those businesses that are necessary to protect and sustain life are already open. As we move into lower-risk phases, additional business categories will reopen, and the restrictions on public gatherings and social interactions will ease. In Governor Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan, the state evaluates where each of its regions is across six phases of this epidemic.

Moving from Crisis to Recovery

As your organization reviews the landscape and begins to contemplate reopening, there are many resources available to help. At a minimum, you’ll need to follow these major action steps:

Assess Your Risks

  • Determine what’s needed to keep your employees and customers healthy and safe.
  • Figure out what, if any, financial considerations are at play.
  • Gather input from your stakeholders and partners.

Develop a Plan

  • Map out the activities and changes you need to complete before you can reopen.
  • Ensure your to-do list has been communicated and vetted appropriately.

Make Necessary Modifications

  • Whether it’s a facility change, the addition of some artificial intelligence, or a revised staffing plan, you’ll need to anticipate and address the changes your business must make.
  • Ensure all modifications are closely tied to your risk assessment, so you don’t forget anything!

Revive Demand

  • Unless your organization has been open on a limited basis, it’s likely that some outreach is needed to get your customers active again. Consider a big announcement, a special offer, or some other strategies to reinvigorate your target audiences.

Additional Reopening Resources

Operational Toolkit

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health

This toolkit helps businesses reopening or expanding operations to determine risks of transmission and how to reduce them.

Path Forward

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

A document designed to help business leaders find the answers they need to develop a responsible reopening strategy.

The Restart

McKinsey& Company

A website that provides eight actions CEOs can take to ensure a safe and successful relaunch of economic activity.

Customizable Flyer

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Customize this flyer to inform employees and customers about the steps taken to protect against the spread of COVID-19. 

What Does a Smart Relaunch Look Like?

A successful relaunch in the Greater Lansing region will balance the needs of employers, employees, residents, and visitors by:

Establishing guidelines to support the safe reopening of businesses across multiple industry sectors.

Creating a workplace that protects the physical health and safety of employees.

Building a place of business that provides best practices in protecting the safety of customers.

Establishing confidence in visitors that our region has taken necessary precautions to limit exposure to COVID-19.

Understanding the economic well being of our local communities.

A successful relaunch will capitalize on our region’s unique strengths, and work to ensure dollars are spent at local businesses and kept in the local economy. As our region goes back to work, flexibility and forethought will be critical. Organizations will need to plan carefully and be prepared to capitalize on the new opportunities and challenges ahead. Displaced workers will need new training and entrepreneurial resources to advance toward a brighter future. Together, we will pursue a common purpose: a robust mid-Michigan economy that is built to last.

Ways to Support Local Businesses While Social Distancing

Shop Online

Many local businesses have an online presence and can mail your items.

Shop Over the Phone

An easy way to find out if your desired items are available and your items can be mailed or you or picked up at a later date.

Buy a Gift Card

It’s a great time to stock up on gift cards for future gift-giving opportunities.

Order Out

If you’re feeling well but weary of being in public, order take-out or delivery from your favorite restaurant.

Leave a Review

Show your love online for your favorite shopping and dining establishments.

Like and Subscribe

Be sure to like your local businesses’ social media channels and subscribe to their email lists to stay up-to-date on their events.

Connecting with Employees, Customers and Community

A smart relaunch of the Lansing region’s economy accommodates the needs and perceptions of employees, customers, and the community. As local businesses, schools, and community organizations reopen, it will be vital to listen to key stakeholders’ concerns and communicate any changes.

  • EmployeesExplain the details of the changes, protocols, new practices, and guidelines being taken to provide a safe and healthy workplace.
  • CustomersUse multiple channels, including your website, social media, e-communications, and industry groups, to ensure your message is widely received and reinforced.
  • CommunityMonitor how the community is responding to the reopen. Take suggestions seriously and always acknowledge anyone who mentions your business directly.
  • Business PartnersExplain any new protocols and what might need to change about your working relationship.

Management, communication, and safety resources are available to help organizations move forward — along with the hands-on help and consultation needed to use them effectively.

Relaunch Greater Lansing Task Force Members

  • Terrance Augustine Eaton County Board of Commissioners
  • Farhan Bhatti, M.D.Care Free Medical
  • Bryan CrenshawIngham County Board of Commissioners
  • Tim DamanLansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Tico DuckettDuckett Brothers Distributing
  • Brent ForsbergT.A. Forsberg
  • Peter Graham, M.D.Chief Medical Officer, Physicians Health Plan
  • Kevin IrwinTechSmith
  • Greg KlapkoShiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Janet LillieMichigan State University
  • Jason MellemaIngham Intermediate School District
  • Bob MooneyMeijer
  • Julie PingstonGreater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Matt ReschResch Strategies
  • Carrie RosinganaCapital Area Michigan Works!
  • Andy SchorMayor, City of Lansing
  • Patricia ScottFoster Swift
  • Bob TreziseLansing Economic Area Partnership
  • Linda VailIngham County Health Department
  • Kam WashburnClinton County Board of Commissioners
  • Mike ZamiaraNiowave

Greater Lansing Safe Pledge

Take the Safe Pledge

The Greater Lansing Safe Pledge helps visitors know our destination is taking precautions to keep everyone healthy and safe during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Safe Pledge is administered by the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Michigan State University Community Compact

The Michigan State University Community Compact applies to MSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, contractors, vendors and visitors. Learn more about the requirements for the MSU Community Compact.

Need help making sure your place of business is safe for your employees and customers? Head to the Guidelines and Resources Tab.