Senator Tom Killion (R-Chester and Delaware) in a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf today called for the permission of curbside retail commerce statewide.
“As Pennsylvania’s small businesses and their employees continue to suffer immensely during the COVID-19 pandemic, I write to request a lifeline for job providers in the Commonwealth,” wrote Killion. “I ask that you immediately allow curbside pickup opportunities for retailers located in counties operating under the red phase restrictions of your administration’s orders.”
While 49 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties have moved to the yellow phase of the administration’s reopening plan, 57 percent of the state’s population remains under the stay-at-home and orders of the red phase during which all retail operations that are not life sustaining are prohibited.
“As Chairman of the Senate’s Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee, I have been in touch with countless Pennsylvanians over the last two months who have described the horrific and unprecedented economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic,” Killion’s letter continued.
Curbside retail is permitted in neighboring Delaware, Maryland, Ohio and even New Jersey. Pennsylvania’s neighbor to the east is second only to New York in COVID-19 infections and deaths. Killion noted Pennsylvania’s Fine Wine and Good Sprits stores currently offer curbside retail.
Killion stated the importance of permitting curbside commerce during the red phase with more than two million Pennsylvanians out of work and the record number of applications for local, state and federal grants and loans for small businesses.
A common complaint of many small business owners was also raised by Killion.
“Curbside pickup of their products may in some way help correct the frustrating inequity of ‘big box stores’ remaining open throughout the crisis and selling many of the same products once offered by our forcibly shuttered small businesses,” wrote the senator. “The stark difference of how large businesses and small retailers have been treated in red phase counties has been especially dispiriting.”
“Almost three in every five Pennsylvanians are still in lockdown,” commented Killion. “By the administration’s own admission we are past the peak of this virus. Permitting curbside retail would be a tangible recognition of the importance of small business and the commitment of this administration towards getting people back to work.”