Business owners are "Bringing Back Delco" thanks to drive-in PPE distribution

BROOMALL, Pa. -- "Delco-Strong is the word here."

That was the reaction of Councilwoman Elaine Paul Schaefer after seeing dozens of volunteers sweating through an all-out effort to bring businesses back to life in Delaware County.

It's a movement they are calling, "Bringing Back Delco." As southeastern Pennsylvania enters the Yellow Phase of Governor Tom Wolf's reopening plan, businesses will need to change in unprecedented ways.

That change starts with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, social-distance signs, and more. However, this personal protective equipment can be difficult to come by.

That's why the Delaware County Council, Commerce Center, and Department of Emergency Services banded together to provide these critical tools for business owners.

Using funds provided by the federal CARES Act, they were able to offset the cost of thousands of PPE. They created kits containing $100 worth of materials and offered them to local businesses for just $10.

This morning marked the first of two drive-through operations at the Broomall Fire Company. Over this weekend, 500 individuals will pick up these essential materials to get their restaurants, salons, and toy stores open again. The task force is currently preparing to sell another 1,000 kits to Delco business owners in the coming weeks. All purchases must be made before arrival and follow a regimented pickup schedule.

It is not the first time Delco officials and community leaders stepped up for its business owners. They have already distributed one round of grants to 800 local businesses and are hoping to deliver a second wave towards the end of the month.

Delaware County was hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. Data pulled by Action News in May showed that Delco was not trending downward as quickly as surrounding counties.

However, Councilwoman Schaefer has a profound update.

"I'm so proud to report that in the last two weeks, our numbers have taken a nosedive and really stayed there," she said.

She wanted to give a shout-out to the Chester County Health Department, who reached out in response to COVID-19 and is serving Delaware County as well.

The positive results in Delco can also be traced back to its Citizen Corps, which has poured in thousands of volunteer service hours in close to 10 years. In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, it grew from 500 to over 1300 volunteers helping with PPE distribution, food drives, testing and other mass care services. In the last three months, they hosted 151 of these events for Delco residents.

To learn more about how you can volunteer or receive COVID-19 relief, visit BringingBackDelco.com.

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