As Delaware County begins to move to the Yellow Phase of Governor Wolf’s Plan for Reopening the state, Delaware County Council, the Delaware County Commerce Center, and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce have joined together to convene a task force to assist business leaders both before and during the reopening.
The Bringing Back Delco Task Force, comprised of community, business and government representatives will assist and support the Delaware County business community to ensure a safe reopening of the local economy.
Members of the newly created Bringing Back Delco Task Force met virtually as a group this week to begin preparing for Delaware County moving into a yellow phase.
Last week, Governor Wolf announced a timeline that projects a June 5th transition to the Yellow Phase for Delaware County and the four surrounding counties of Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia. Under a Yellow Phase, restaurants may offer outdoor dining and most retail stores may open, although curbside and delivery for retail stores are preferred. The Governor also announced that based on the progress counties make to keep the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum while in the Yellow Phase, counties may move into the Green Phase as soon as the end of June. Under the Green Phase, all businesses will be allowed to open and there are less restrictions on social gatherings, but all residents and businesses should still follow CDC and Health Department guidelines.
“We are very excited to see our business community get back to work,” said Delaware County Councilwoman Elaine Schaefer. “It has been a long two months of hardship for almost all of our small businesses and we recognize that they are anxious to be back up and operating, and also that our residents are eager to support them. As we approach the Yellow Phase, we need to do so in a way that continues to allow for the safety and health of employees and residents.”
The Task Force has created a website and will be offering webinars to assist business owners with safety guidelines, reopening protocols and plans, and industry-specific information. The website also includes downloadable flyers and graphics for business owners to display and share with their employees. The website is: www.BringingBackDelco.com
The Task Force will hold a webinar on June 3 at 2:00p.m. geared towards addressing the needs of small businesses and restaurants as they open up and detail how local government can assist these businesses to make the transition safe and successful. More details will be posted at: www.BringingBackDelco.com
A helpline has also been set up for business owners and managers who have questions and need help navigating the CDC and state guidelines and who may need support interpreting the guidance. Businesses can call: 610-565-3677.
Plans are underway for an online small business support store to help businesses procure the supplies they will likely need to reopen safely, many of which are in short supply. Items available will include: hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, gloves, masks, six-foot floor markers, and Plexiglas barriers for counters. These items will be available at a discounted price and orders can be placed on the website, and picked up at a central storage location.
“Once again, Government, civic, business, labor and nonprofit leaders have united to ensure Delco remains strong.” said Patrick Killian, Director of the Delaware County Commerce Center. “We are proud to be a part of that effort."
The Task Force will regularly convene to address the concerns of the community, coordinate, and share best practices that are proven to be successful and distribute information that is needed for an effective and safe transition.
Members of the Task Force include:
Elaine Schaefer, Delaware County Council
Brian Zidek, Delaware County Council
Kevin Madden, Delaware County Council
Monica Taylor, Delaware County Council
Christine Reuther, Delaware County Council
Trish McFarland, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce
Patrick Killian, Delaware County Commerce Center
Laura Goodrich Cairns, Delaware County Commerce Center
Steve Byrne, Visit Delco, PA
State Senator Tim Kearney
State Senator Tom Killion
State Senator Anthony Williams
Jack Stollsteimer, Delaware County District Attorney
Marianne Grace, Delaware County Executive Administrative Director
Sam Haber, Delaware County Planning Department
Maria Edelberg, Delaware County Intermediate Unit
Frances Sheehan, The Foundation for Delaware County
Amanda Serock, Concord Township
Dr. Maureen Reusche, Haverford School District
Mike Ranck, Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County
James Harper, Laborers' International Union of North America, Local 413
Chris Kovolski, Villanova University
George Piasecki, AFL-CIO
Mike Corrigan, Boeing
Adam Gattuso, Monroe Energy
Chris Todd, Christopher's A Neighborhood Place, Wayne Business Association
Tom McCormack, C&M Sports
Pamela McCormick, SEPTA
“Collaboration is critical as our community begins to transition into this next phase,” said Trish McFarland, President of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber has been listening to our members to identify their needs and working with business representatives from across the state to understand what has worked and what hasn’t worked in their transitions to the yellow phase. This type of collaboration in our county will help to streamline this process and ensure that we are assisting and protecting the businesses, their employees and the public as we begin to rebuild our economy.”