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A Business Guide for Preparing for the Great North American Solar Eclipse | Monday, April 8, 2024

March 11, 2024

Rochester has been named one of the best cities to watch the 2024 Great North American Solar Eclipse by national publications including National Geographic, Fodor’s, and Thrillist. With as many as 500,000 visitors to our region expected, businesses should make sure they’re prepared for the opportunities and challenges associated with this once-in-a-lifetime event. In this blog post, we'll explore what businesses should do to make the most of this:

  • Decide if you’re staying open – and communicate it
    It is important to decide as early as possible if your business intends to adjust hours for the eclipse, before, during, and after totality. Once you decide, make sure to share with employees either way and create a revised schedule if applicable. Clearly posting this information inside a physical location is also a best practice, as well as including a note on your website and posting on social media or using other communications channels to ensure all relevant stakeholders are informed.
  • Take advantage of fun limited-edition marketing
    Create buzz around your business by offering eclipse-themed promotions or specials. Consider crafting unique products, discounts, or exclusive packages that tie into the celestial theme. Engage with your community through social media to spread the word about these limited-time offers.
  • Prepare for the technology demands
    Be ready for possible cellular service disruptions by having multiple forms of communication and knowing where the closest accessible landline is. AT&T and Verizon have both stated that they do not expect outages resulting from the mass gathering, but it is better to be prepared than to be in the dark! Making sure you have WiFi or other connectivity options is encouraged. For retail businesses, please note that card readers may also be slow or not work optimally given the influx of users on our cellular network.
  • Prepare to stay put
    There will be significant traffic delays in the minutes and hours following totality throughout the rest of the evening. Be sure to communicate this with your employees, customers, and anyone who will be watching the eclipse with you. Plan to stay put where you are watching the eclipse to stay off the road and avoid delays. If possible, try to avoid scheduling employees shifts to start shortly after the eclipse to keep people safe.
  • Enjoy & share the moment on social media
    Once you’ve prepared, make sure you enjoy this incredible celestial event! Being in the path of totality is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make sure you’re capturing the moment. If possible, we also encourage businesses that are remaining open to allow employees to step outside for totality between 3:20 PM and 3:24 PM. If you share on social media, be sure to tag Greater Rochester Chamber and use hashtag #ROCEclipse2024 and we will reshare member posts.

This is an historic event that can only be seen from a few places on Earth and Rochester is one of them this year! The next total solar eclipse for Rochester won’t occur for another 120 years, on October 26, 2144. For specific questions, please contact to hear from our experts.

To learn more about what’s going on around the Greater Rochester region for the eclipse, visit Visit Rochester’s guide and Rochester Museum and Science Center’s eclipse website. Be sure to be aware, be prepared, and be there to make the most of this exciting event and maintain business continuity.


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