By: 1808Delaware Staff

There’s a clear message right now going out to all in the Delaware community:

Downtown Delaware needs you.

The merchants, professional businesses, restaurants and bars, and other Downtown Delaware operations, already hit by the COVID-19 restrictions that saw many shutter their doors for weeks, are now facing the aftermath of flooding that has caused property damage and loss.

Main Street Delaware is spearheading a response to this double-whammy in two ways.

First, it is accepting donations of cleaning and other supplies, as well as of volunteer time and effort. On Wednesday morning, Susie Bibler and Caroline Pusateri of Main Street Delaware posted a Facebook Live video that, as Bibler shared, demonstrated an “unbelievable” response from the community. Piles of cleaning supplies, bleach, trash bags, rubber gloves, buckets, mops, paper towels and more had been donated.

To provide volunteer assistance, this link has additional information:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090a4dafac28a3fe3-downtown1

Second, monetary contributions are sought for the organization’s Small Business Relief Fund. First created for COVID-19 impacts and restart funding, it has now been expanded to cover flood damages as well.

As Bibler shared on Wednesday morning, businesses have lost inventory, HVAC equipment, water heaters, and more. Videos posted by Main Street Delaware on Tuesday show water inside of storefronts and rushing down Sandusky Street.

Pusateri shared that between 4 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, over $5,000 had been donated. 100% of donated funds go directly to the small businesses of Downtown Delaware.

To donate, visit this link:

Make a Donation

Downtown Delaware has also been the recent focus of efforts by the City of Delaware to boost and re-boost business.

The City has waived the requirement that the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area – DORA – district be tied to a special event. The DORA zone, along Sandusky Street, from Spring Street to Central Avenue, and along William and Winter streets, from Franklin Street to Union Street, will be in place Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM to 10 PM each day. Beer and wine (no spirituous liquor) purchased from participating restaurants and bars can legally be consumed in the zone.

This expanded DORA scope provides more space to spread out and enjoy downtown now that the state is permitting restaurants to open outdoor seating Friday, and then re-open with limited indoor seating May 21. If this proves successful, additional DORA days are being discussed by city staff and its Business Recovery Task Force, which has been meeting for two weeks.

The Task Force is working with Main Street and the local health district on expanding outdoor seating in the downtown. The City is allowing restaurants and bars to expand current sidewalk cafes utilizing a no-cost temporary permit with permission from their neighboring business/building owners.

The City of Delaware Planning Department has made it easier for about two dozen downtown businesses to get their outdoor patio and sidewalk use renewals approved entirely on-line.

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