The SNHPC Age-Friendly business program began with a conversation about accessibility. SNHPC staff were fortunate to learn about Universal Design and the importance of accessibility through the experts at Access Navigators.
Whether a restaurant, boutique, or hardware store, people of all abilities desire access. Think of your favorite café or restaurant; if you were in a wheelchair, you might ask:
- Can I park nearby?
- Can I get into the door?
- Can I maneuver once inside?
- Can I access the restroom?
The staff at SNHPC began to research communities that embraced the concept of Age-Friendly businesses. Through this effort, examples were found in New York City and Washington DC. Utilizing criteria checklists that acted as education tools on age-friendly elements, SNHPC developed a business checklist covering elements such as: design and atmosphere, customer service, employee benefits, products and services, and environmental sustainability. You can access the SNHPC Age-Friendly Business Criteria Checklist from the link below.
(Pictured: Robies Country Store, Hooksett)
SNHPC had the opportunity to work with three businesses in 2018. Commission staff visited the businesses, spoke with employees and conducted an assessment, which identified potential assets, opportunities and roadblocks. Throughout this pilot process, SNHPC staff identified characteristics desirable to customers of varying ages and abilities and created an age-friendly business checklist for businesses to potentially use as a guide for creating a more engaging environment for customers of all ages. The checklist can be found below.