Many community partners (Huron County EMA, Norwalk Area Visitor’s Bureau, Norwalk Economic Development Corporation, and Norwalk Ohio News) came together early this summer to host a series of webinars for Norwalk area businesses. The reason? Norwalk is in the direct centerline of a Total Solar Eclipse in April 2024.
A Total Solar Eclipse, in layman’s terms, is when the moon completely covers the sun and creates total darkness regardless of the time of day. The total darkness of eclipse will occur in Norwalk at 3:12 PM, but we will see the full sunset, darkness, and sunrise. Therefore, the whole process will occur from 1:57 to 4:28 PM. Click here to visit an Interactive Simulator of what the eclipse experience will be like.
The three-part Business Preparedness Webinar series featured many esteemed guest speakers including Dan McGluan from eclipse2024.org, Brendan Roberts from Huron County Public Health, Brian Lada from AccuWeather, and McKenzie Spriggs from Destination Sandusky. Topics included were traffic, parking, suggested hours for your business, economic impact, health, safety, planning and weather.
So, what should your business plan for? To start, plan as early as possible! For example, be sure to order eclipse viewing glasses soon from a reputable site if you plan to sell them in your establishment. Next, consider logistics specific to your business – what will your hours be? Ordering processes? Parking? Be sure to also keep in mind the traffic congestion that will probably peak around 4 PM on April 8th after the eclipse viewing is over and how you will deal with employee tardiness and call-offs.
Aside from increased sales, businesses can gain brand exposure and community goodwill during the event. An updated online presence will help communicate eclipse-related offerings effectively. Preparing for potential challenges, such as traffic congestion after the eclipse, obtaining special permits, and complying with business regulations, is essential to ensuring a smooth eclipse day!
- Click here to see a list of reputable websites to order Eclipse-watching glasses. There are fake glasses out there that will damage your vision if used when looking at the eclipse!
- View Webinar 1 here (Advice from an Eclipse Chaser), Webinar 2 here (Business Basics & Special Permits), and Webinar 3 here (Community & Business Planning)
- Please visit norwalkeclipse2024.com and shoresandislands.com to submit your events for the 2024 Eclipse
- Consider reaching out to businesses in communities that experienced the 2017 Eclipse and asking questions to help prepare (example: Hopkinsville, Kentucky)