By Butch Bennett, Timothy A. Boyce, Reverend Lenard Carroll, Chief Bruce Egan, Laura Goodrich Cairns, Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, Trish McFarland, Chief John Viola, and Chief David Tedjeske
Car accidents, missing persons, violent acts, heart attacks, children in danger, smoke filling homes and fires spreading rapidly.
All are frightening events that put families at risk, and they often generate calls to Delaware County 911. Each call is answered locally by a trained professional who calmly handles the emergency, and then dispatches needed help – day or night, rain or shine – to first responders from every corner of the County.
These emergency events occur hundreds of thousands of times every year – with over 800,000 emergency calls received in 2019 alone - and each time aid is directed to those who need it.
Delaware County’s emergency communications system is a busy one, well-organized and staffed by people who are dedicated to protecting every resident as well as many others who work in and travel through the County. It does, however, have serious infrastructure, technology and security deficiencies and is long overdue for modernization that will better support emergency services --- fire, police and medical -- by allowing them to do the jobs they have devoted their lives to, while reducing the risks they take and providing better services to you.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, information and protocols were constantly changing. Throughout this difficult time, local businesses in knew they could rely on the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and the Bringing Back Delco Task Force for support. Whether providing important information, distributing PPE, or encouraging residents to shop local, the Chamber and Bringing Back Delco worked hard to help Delco businesses stay healthy – literally and figuratively.
Bringing Back Delco: One Year Later
The Delaware County Chamber of Commerce has always worked to unite the business community, as a voice, a resource, a place to connect with one another and grow.
In 2020, the goal stayed the same and the Chamber became the primary resource in Delaware County to both Chamber members and non-alike. As the initial shutdowns happened one year ago, the Chamber took the lead by sharing information being passed down from Governor Wolf’s Office to the local business community.
The Chamber advocated for industries to be on the “Essential Business List” and partnered with County Council for the first of many virtual meetings with the Small Business Administration, the Department of Labor and the Commerce Center with over 600 attendees.
“This past year has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives. As we embrace what normal is, we look forward to new initiatives and more opportunities to grow business. The Chamber will remain a constant as we move on and help build our businesses to be stronger than before,” says Trish McFarland, Chamber President.
The SBA PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) application period has been extended to May 31, 2021.
Businesses that have not applied in 2021 for a first draw or second draw (those that took PPP in 2020) will have an extended opportunity to use this program, if desired. PPP is a loan that can convert to a grant if certain criteria are met. PPP can be used for payroll, benefits, mortgage, rent, and utilities. PPP issues that remain a loan and do not convert to grant in 2021 have a term of 5 years with an interest rate of 1%. Sole Proprietors, Independent Contractors, and Self-Employed Persons are eligible this round.
PPP applications are accepted through financial institutions that are deemed “partners” by the SBA and include banks, credit unions and Community Finance providers such as CDFIs (Community Development Financial Institutions).
More on the program and an SBA financial partner list can be found here.
Press Release from the SBA can be found here.