New Hope’s shops and restaurants will eventually reopen, and when they do, Borough Council wants to be sure that local merchants receive all the support they need to survive and thrive as the coronavirus pandemic eases. Council, working with the New Hope Chamber of Commerce, will host a series of video roundtable discussions to start the planning.
The first roundtable, for New Hope Borough merchants only, will be held via Zoom on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 1 p.m. A separate meeting for restaurant owners and managers will be held the following week.
The decision on when and how to reopen is the prerogative of Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf, and all steps in the reopening will have to adhere to guidance from county, state and federal public health officials. But Borough Council members say there are quite a few measures that could be put in place locally to make the reopening as smooth as possible.
"We will explore every avenue of support that New Hope Borough can offer to our merchants," said Borough Council President Connie Gering. "We want to hear first-hand what their needs are, what concerns they have and how they think the Borough can help."
Among the concerns Council members plan to discuss is the three-phase reopening strategy announced by Gov. Wolf last month. Under that plan, the first phase will allow in-person retail operations to resume, but restaurants and bars will still be limited to take-out and delivery only, and entertainment and personal care facilities will remain closed.
"For our shop owners, we want to be sure that they can follow social-distancing guidelines in their retail setting, and explore any parking improvements, signage and pick-up zones we can create to help them get back on their feet," said Gering. "Our hospitality businesses, who are very much at the heart of New Hope, will need additional support because they will be the last to return under the governor’s plan."
For any New Hope Borough merchants interested in attending the May 15 Zoom event, please email Laura Kent at the Borough, firstname.lastname@example.org, by 3 p.m. Thursday, May 14.