Certification program, piloted through the tourism sector, will help New Mexico businesses operate safely and responsibly as businesses continue to reopen

SANTA FE — In response to the COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers (CSPs) released by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on May 15, the New Mexico Tourism Department (NMTD) has issued a $50,000 grant to the New Mexico Society of Association Executives (NMSAE) to administer a COVID-Safe Practices training program in an effort to help businesses operate in a COVID-19 world.

The initiative, tabbed the NM Safe Certified Program, offers free on-demand virtual COVID-Safe Practices training modules designed to help businesses create a safe and responsible environment for employees and customers. The NM Safe Certified Program officially went live on June 15, 2020, and is available to businesses that qualify.

The program will be piloted through the tourism sector, and training modules for additional business sectors will be developed in the future. Training modules for restaurants, lodging businesses, retail businesses, tour operators, golf courses, spas and salons are currently available.

Upon completion of the training modules, businesses will be awarded special recognition. Businesses can then display the “NM Safe Certified” badge on their website or storefront to show visitors and residents it is equipped to offer safe and responsible service in a COVID-positive world.

“This program is an opportunity for the New Mexico business community to position New Mexico as a leader for COVID-safe practices as businesses begin to reopen,” Cabinet Secretary Jen Paul Schroer said. “The Tourism Department is committed to supporting programs and initiatives that help tourism businesses create safe and responsible environments for everyone.”

“We want businesses to know they are not alone in adjusting to the new environment and we want customers to know they can feel confident about visiting businesses in a COVID-positive world,” NMSAE Executive Director Jason Espinoza said. “The program trains New Mexico businesses in the state’s COVID-Safe Practices to help ensure all of us – customers, employees, and families – remain safe as New Mexico reopens for business and recreation.”

Some additional benefits for businesses that become NM Safe Certified:
• Recognition as an NM Safe Certified business
• Usage of the NM Safe Certified seal to promote business
• Inclusion in the NM Safe Certified business directory
• Participation in statewide peer learning communities to share best practices, troubleshoot common challenges, and access additional resources
• Access to the NM Safe Certified resource toolkit
• Digital advertising credit with New Mexico Magazine

More information on the benefits of becoming NM Safe Certified Program are listed on www.nmsafecertified.org. Business owners and managers interested in becoming NM Safe Certified can get started at www.nmsafecertified.org.