How to Keep Your Small Business Safe and Clean

With businesses opening up again, it’s important to let your staff and customers know that keeping everyone safe is your number one priority.

“COVID has created a heightened awareness for everyone around a clean and disinfected environment with new protocols for distancing and well-being,” says Margaret Blake, Vice-President of Merchandising and Purchasing at Staples.

But there’s more to keeping the workplace safe and healthy than meets the eye. Employees need clear guidelines and best practices for sanitation, and customers appreciate everything your small business does to keep everyone safe.

Here are a few often-overlooked hotspots to ensure all the bases are covered.


While it’s well-known that high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, stair handrails and photocopiers should be cleaned and disinfected daily, other surfaces are sometimes neglected.

“Items on a desk need attention, especially items that may come in contact with more than one person,” says Blake. This goes for cashier stations too, and any highly trafficked areas with multiple touchpoints.

Keyboards and phones, for example, are areas that may be overlooked when cleaning. An ample supply of sanitizing wipes — including the Scott 24 Hour Sanitizing Wipes or WypAll Strong and Soft Wipes— will allow employees to sanitize these items before use.

Hand cleaning

Having multiple options for keeping hands clean is vital, both for employees and customers. That includes hand-washing products such as Purell ES8 Touch-Free Soap Dispenser and Purell HEALTHY SOAP Mild Foam Refill for Purell ES8 (1200 mL - 2 Pack).

Hand sanitizer dispensers are the most effective when they are easy to locate in a room, such as near an entrance or doorway or any area where people might gather. Two good solutions: Purell ES8 Hand Sanitizer Touch-Free Dispenser and Purell Advanced Hand Rub Gel Refill for ES6. A more portable option that can be stationed anywhere is the Purell Hand Sanitizer with Pump, which is great for gyms and other fitness facilities with multiple high-touch stations.

Air circulation

More frequent surface cleaning, the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees and hand sanitizing stations have all played an important role in keeping workplaces safe since the pandemic began.

Now, increasing awareness of the airborne nature of COVID necessitates an enhanced approach to air purification in the workplace. “Air purifiers are a great example of a technology that has become mainstream with COVID,” says Blake. “Originally it was all about PPE, masks, gloves, sanitizer, etc. But now we are realizing that clean air is just as important, and many companies are using enhanced filtration or air purifiers to help.”

Air purification can be part of a wellness plan in large facilities like gyms, and even in small footprint retail spaces that see many visitors throughout the day.

According to Fellowes’ website, the Fellowes AeraMax Pro AM3S Air Purifier “demonstrated through independent laboratory testing to be effective in reducing aerosolized airborne concentration of Human Coronavirus 229E in a test chamber, reaching 99.99% airborne reduction within 1 hour of operation.” It also delivers three to five air changes per hour in a shared space of 300-550 square feet, such as waiting rooms and restrooms.

Hand dryers

Air dryers were once seen as the preferred solution to hand drying in office washrooms, but many companies are now moving away from air dryers due to concerns about the potential for cross-contamination.

“Our consumer survey findings indicated almost two-thirds of respondents prefer paper towels over air dryers for restroom hand drying,” says Matt Freeman, Business Development Manager at Kimberly-Clark Professional. “Paper towels reduce bacteria on hands by up to 77 percent.”

Consider the Cascades PRO Universal Towel Dispenser and Cascades PRO Select Roll Paper Towels as a cost-effective solution.

Keeping a clean space while ensuring employees feel safe can feel daunting but having a plan in place can make all the difference. Staples has all the products and expertise you need, in-store and online.

Find cleaning solutions for your business and find out how you can get access to exclusive pricing and benefits through our Staples Preferred program.

By Staples Canada

December 10, 2021

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