The Covid-19 pandemic has caused historic economic injury to the entire U.S. economy. Included in the economic carnage has been the hospitality industry and specifically, restaurants. From the date that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered all indoor and outdoor restaurant service to cease, restaurants have faced cataclysmic consequences.
Employee furloughs and layoffs occurred, and a significant percentage of all unemployment claims locally and Nationally were directly related to this industry. In addition, all the ancillary industries that depend on restaurants took a hit as well.
The Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce acted to assist all restaurants across Delmarva, Chamber member or not.
A regional Restaurant Owners Task Force and a Facebook page, “Delmarva Eats,” were created. All restaurants could post their takeout menus, operating hours and specials. That singular effort now boasts thousands of members and restaurants from three states.
That Task Force has been urging our elected leaders to react swiftly to this crisis. Additionally, the Task Force pushed the Governor’s Office to move to Phase 2, which allows outdoor dining and limited indoor dining.
The work of the Task Force continues, with the issue of liability protections for restaurants and the extension of the PPP program which some owners will still need to survive the crisis.
Restaurants define a community, as they certainly define Delmarva with readily available locally sourced products from our farms and waterways.