Deadline approaching for businesses to apply for waivers to reopen

UPPER DARBY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Tens of thousands of businesses in Pennsylvania deemed non-essential are hoping to get the OK from the state to reopen in some capacity.

Polites Florist in Delaware County recently got its waiver approved.

"As long as we keep our store closed, we're able to deliver," said owner Chris Polites.

He's still doing business with some modifications, like only allowing employees in the store.

All orders must be done online, and deliveries must be no contact.

"They get left at the doorstep, the driver goes back to the truck and calls the customer or the recipient, and says the flowers have been delivered," explained Polites.

The shop is one of 32,474 businesses in the state that applied for a waiver and one of 5,377 so far that has been approved.

As of March 31, 8,319 applications were denied.

Polites say he figured out how to word his application with the help of the Society of American Florists, a lobbyist group in Washington D.C. for the floral industry.

"There are other industries, FedEx, UPS, even the United States Postal Service is delivering," said Polites.

He also says his business has dropped by about fifty percent since the shutdown began in mid-March, but he's grateful for the orders he is getting.

"Babies are being born, we're sending flowers out for 'thinking of you', said Polites. "So they were really happy and appreciative that we're in business."

The deadline for businesses to apply is Friday April 3 at 5 p.m.
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