Sussex County businesses weigh-in on ideas to reopen Delaware

DELAWARE — The state continues to look at ways to reopen the state once the curve starts to flatten and part of that process includes getting feedback from business leaders during a series of virtual town halls that started on Monday.

“What we don’t want to have happen is move into phase one or move into phase two and have to move backward,” says Damian DeStefano, the Director of Delaware Division of Small Business. “Phase one is still having a lot of the same things that are part of the phase we’re in right now. But phase two is when things start to get a little bit back to normal.”

Phase two would still involve a shelter in place for vulnerable residents with some other changes. “We still are going to be asking to maintain social distancing in public and to be limiting gathering to 50 individuals. Right now it’s ten,” says DeStefano.

From gyms to home rentals, Sussex County business owners were also able to provide feedback during the virtual town hall about how they’re preparing to adapt to reopening guidelines.

“We installed UVC lights in our HVAC units and that will actually sanitize the air,” says Gina Hall with Energy Gym in Selbyville.

“We’re paying extra money out of our pocket to have the house detail cleaned and fumigated between any guests,” says Lyn Shoop with Dewey Beach Rentals.

Meanwhile, restaurant owners say they’d still face barriers trying to social distance customers who are dining in. So one owner proposed that roads with a lot of restaurants be blocked off and made only accessible to pedestrians to create more outdoor seating. “I think that’s the way to have a local industry survive and make it even more attractive in the same way,” says Thierry Langer with Kaisy’s Delights.

Again those proposed reopening phases are just ideas right now and nothing is set in stone. More than 300 people participated in Delaware’s first virtual town hall on Monday. Several more virtual town halls will be hosted for business owners until May 6th.

To submit comments online about businesses reopening visit: DE.gov/economy.

Categories: Coronavirus, Delaware, Local News