From Staff Reports

NASHVILLE, TN — Music City merchants are being encouraged to sign on with the “Good to Go” program to keep their businesses as safe as possible and open during the coronavirus pandemic.

The free program trains employees and informs customers so businesses can stay open and keep money flowing. Nearly 700 businesses have signed on. More are sought to defend people and the economy.

Employee training programs are available to participants who get a green emblem to be displayed so customers know a business takes precautions against Covid-19.

To get that, businesses commit to follow Metro health department guidelines. They’re at with other information. Sign up by starting on the web at With a password, businesses may access a virtual “toolkit” with information on infectious disease prevention and workplace safety.

The program was created by the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation (NCVC), Vanderbilt Health and Ryman Hospitality.

Businesses pledges to: Prioritize employee and customer health and safety; Implement COVID-19 health and disease control standards; Participate in an introductory webinar and stay current on recommendations; Have an employee complete training, educate other employees, keep records, and participate on conference calls; and, Receive and review program communications.

Convention and meeting planners want to know what safety measurers are used to ensure attendees’ safety, NCVC says. Any business can participate. The goal is to keep employees and customers safe.

Good to Go also serves tourists. Three of every four tourists say before their next trip, they research how the destination and/or its businesses are managing coronavirus, according to a Travel Sentiment Index quoted by the NCVC.

Businesses that have signed include The Tennessee Tribune.

“It’s a good program,” Tribune Publisher Rosetta Miller Perry says.

NCVC says Good to Go is designed to help all kinds of businesses in Nashville keep Music City safe and healthy. That’s everything from hotels, restaurants and attractions, insurance companies to churches and, of course, newspaper offices.

When introduced, Nashville’s Good To Go was acknowledged as a first of its kind created and implemented by an American convention and visitors organization. It’s a portal to information that helps businesses safely reopen during the pandemic.

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation has told the world that Nashville is good to go and major national media have noticed.

Forbes’ headline says “Good To Go … Is The First Of Its Kind.” NBC aired video of Nashville.

“Good To Go will not dictate the schedule of reopening, but rather serve as a communication and resource tool for businesses,” Forbes said in a June 24 story, noting 450 participants. That’s grown nearly 45 percent in a few weeks. The program gives participants: insights on best practices from Ryman Hospitality Properties leaders; monthly calls with other participants; and access to Vanderbilt infectious disease professionals for answers.

That’s bound to be important since there’s an ebb and flow of infection and local rules respond to conditions.

Recognizing Americans have cabin fever, NBC, Channel 4 here, on July 9 quotes Bjorn Hanson, Ph.D., a professor at the New York University School on hospitality and tourism.

“No destination manager or government entity wants to be viewed as doing less than others to attract and protect travelers,” the lodging industry consultant told NBC. The network’s news report states, “Nashville’s Good to Go program is one of many with searchable databases of businesses that have vowed to adhere to coronavirus guidelines.”

It’s a guide for visitors and Metro-area residents who want to enjoy what Music City offers with some assurance that their health will be protected as much as humanly possible.

Clint Confehr

Clint Confehr — an American journalist since 1972 — first wrote for The Tennessee Tribune in 1999. His news writing and photography in South Central Tennessee and the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical...