TRI-CITIES, WA - An online mapping tool is helping consumers find local businesses taking safety procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tri-Cities Open & Safe Coalition is using Geographic Information System (GIS) Mapping to locate businesses that have pledged to safely reopen their doors.

In the above video, Karl Dye, President/CEO of the Tri-Cities Development Council (TRIDEC), explains GIS mapping and how it can benefit employers and consumers during the reopening process.

According to Dye, GIS mapping has a variety of benefits for the community. He says businesses that take the Tri-Cities Open & Safe Pledge are automatically included on the interactive map and the collective marketing by the coalition. He says this process restores confidence in both employees and customers, ensuring they return to work and do business safely. Dye also says the businesses on the map serve as a reminder to the community to wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.

To view the GIS mapping through Tri-Cities Open & Safe, visit http://tridec.org. Scroll down and click on the tab labeled "Tri-Cities Open for Business."

Business owners interested in signing the Tri-Cities Open & Safe Pledge for a safe reopening can visit http://tcopenandsafe.com.

More details on GIS mapping are expected to be released as Benton and Franklin Counties get closer to Phase 2 of Washington's Safe Start Plan.