Hostetter: COVID recovery doesn’t have to be a Sophie’s Choice

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Hostetter: COVID recovery doesn’t have to be a Sophie’s Choice


Why are state and local governments approaching re-opening their municipalities during COVID-19 as a Sophie’s Choice trade-off between economic growth and public safety? 

Heidi Hostetter
Heidi Hostetter

We don’t know. This is not a Sophie’s Choice situation. Both public safety and economic growth can be achieved at the same time as municipalities emerge from stay-at-home orders. 

How can this be done? Ask us, Colorado’s Manufacturers. We know how.    

Since the second industrial revolution of the late 19th/early 20th centuries, manufacturers have known how to manage filtration and air particulates.  The World Health Organization has concluded that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted during close contact through respiratory droplets expelled by such things as coughing. So, as filtration and particulate experts, manufacturers can play a unique role during this pandemic.  And, we should. 

We can collaborate across industries to help all types of businesses protect their clients and employees from droplets and airborne virus particulates.  We can help municipalities keep people safe while allowing businesses to operate. 

What should we do? 

Let’s form a Colorado manufacturers/local authority collaboration in Northern Colorado?  Let’s have the collaboration…

  • Get boots on the ground with a team of manufacturing and public safety experts who can go into businesses, if needed, to help them adapt and retrofit their facilities to manage the new guidelines in place. The government guidelines for these things require resources to implement, which are resources businesses don’t have right now. This is a great way for local governments to aid businesses navigating these unknown times.
  • Give employers the necessary information to educate their employees regarding how to act responsibly both at and outside of work and, let’s give business owners the air cover they need to effectively manage their clients and employees safely. 
  • Alleviate unnecessary regulatory policies and limit liability for businesses that are acting responsibly to protect their employees and clients from COVID-19.
  • Approach Safer at Home and future reopening and expansion efforts with a considered approach — one where businesses being responsible and trying to do the right thing can stay open. We need our businesses open to ensure a thriving Northern Colorado economy, and we need our manufacturers to open to keep Colorado supplied with essential products and technology. Local governments need to help be a conduit to the state to make this happen

We have found varying municipalities, both inside and outside of Colorado, that are actively working to implement practical support for business.  Boulder County is providing access to rangers who can help business owners with their facilities and is providing useful information and checklists. This sort of direct line of access allows manufacturers to navigate our current situation better. In North Carolina, policies and pledges are being created to address both public safety and economic growth issues, in addition to creating access to training for businesses that help them get up and running quickly and be able to provide safety assurances. We believe that Colorado has the will and the skill to take this on.  So, let’s do it. 

Collaboration and innovation have always been at the core of who we are in manufacturing. Every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.89 in business growth in other supporting sectors including retailing, transportation and business services. Manufacturing will continue to be a critical growth engine for the economy. 

However, during COVID-19, manufacturing can play an even more important role in driving both economic growth and public safety given our specialized knowledge and expertise regarding filtration and particulates.  We are eager to contribute even more toward Colorado’s recovery. 

So, let’s talk.


Heidi Hostetter is the vice president of Faustson Tool Corp. and is a Colorado manufacturing industry evangelist with 20 years of experience in the field. She wrote this on behalf of NoCo Strong for Business, a group that brings local government officials together to discuss ideas for how they can support businesses, now and in the future.