Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce

The Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce launched the distribution of Getting Back to Business starter kits on Monday, May 18, 2020.

President Judy Diogo said the idea for the kits came from a brainstorming session held by a chamber task force looking at ways to assist small business during the coronavirus crisis.

Once the idea gained traction, they set about looking for funding.

"The City of Dover, Kent County Levy Court, and Calpine were the three groups that came together and provided funding for the kits," Diogo said.

She added that the kits are valued at about $350 and include a number of items to help a small business reopen safely.

"There's a no contact thermometer, they get masks, they get gloves, they get three gallons of hand sanitizer, three gallons of disinfectant spray, they also have a coupon in there for a free electrostatic spray of their facility."

The chamber did limit the businesses eligible to receive the kits to ones with fewer than 20 employees.

Diogo said however, for some businesses, the re-opening cycle is coming too late.

"We've talked with some of our members and there are some who have already told us, it's a small group, but there are some who have already told us they won't be able to open back up, just won't be able to do it, they don't have enough capital. The closing went on too long.

"If it had been...maybe five or six weeks, maybe they could have hung in there. Nine, 10 weeks is pushing them over. They just don't have it," she said.

"That's devastating. It's devastating to those people. It's devastating to their families, and it's devastating to the community to have to lose businesses like that."

TrafficWatch & News Reporter for WDEL/WSTW 1989 - 1993 and back again for Round Two starting in February, 2015 after spending a decade in Chicago and another six years in Boston.