As businesses across Oklahoma reopen, would-be restaurant goers and shoppers may be curious to find out if their favorite business is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“I couldn't find anything anywhere other than 'we're following the guidelines,’” said James Wade, of Edmond.
Wade said he had family members who were hesitant to shop and dine away from home because of possible spread of COVID-19, so he started a website to “boost consumer confidence.”
He started OK Public Review, as a result. The website displays reviews of restaurants, salons, gym and other businesses specifically on accordance with CDC guidelines.
Wade and a team of evaluators go door-to-door asking businesses in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Moore and surrounding areas to participate in an evaluation, which are based on CDC recommendations.
They ask about their employee’s use on gloves and masks, the spacing of tables, cleaning practices and more.
“I want to showcase and showoff and brag about the businesses that are going the extra mile for the employees and customers.”
No one on his team, including Wade, is formally trained or associated with a health agency.
“I’m not claiming to be the government, I don’t’ want to replace the government,” Wade said. “All we're going in and evaluating are the things that will build consumer confidence. We want our economy to bounce back quicker than everywhere else in the country.”
Selena Skorman, the executive director of the Plaza District, said the economic damage done to businesses from the pandemic have been significant, and a bad review could make things worse.
“Why don't we let the consumers be the judge, instead of someone who's maybe not even sanctioned by the city?” she said.
“(I’m) definitely not trying to play ‘gotcha’ for a business,” Wade said.
The first round of evaluations was posted to OK Public Review on Friday.