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Middletown Township Moves Forward Helping Businesses Get Back to Normal After the #COVID19 Shutdown. Meanwhile, Newtown Moves Forward Too, But Much More Slowly.

Middletown Township Moves Forward Helping Businesses Get Back to Normal After the #COVID19 Shutdown. Meanwhile, Newtown Moves Forward Too, But Much More Slowly. | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

Leading up to the county moving from the “red” phase to the less-restrictive “yellow” phase last week, the township and the 13-person Middletown Township Economic Reopening Task Force (read "To Reopen Local Businesses, Townships Must Develop Guidelines to Ensure Citizens are Safe. CASE STUDY: Middletown & Sesame Place") prepared information for local businesses, which employ many residents, drive the area’s economy, and keep goods moving.

 

The township has produced signage packages that businesses can pick up at no cost to businesses. The package includes “Open For Business” displays, social distancing floor decals, and seven separate designs that businesses can reproduce.

 

“When the task force was thinking of how we can best provide direct relief to local businesses, this idea made complete sense,” said Board of Supervisors Chairperson Mike Ksiazek. “A small business that has been closed for three months can’t as easily afford signage, which has become a critical need for any business.”

 

Stephanie Teoli Kuhls, Middletown’s township manager, said during a task force meeting last week that the Board of Supervisors have agreed to waive permit fees to tenting relating to outdoor dining in the community.

 

“We’re trying to take away all the red tape,” she said.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

During the May 13, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting via Zoom, I made a case for the Township to start thinking how it can help local businesses to re-open safely during the current and the next phases of COVID-19 restrictions. Several ideas were put forward such as rethinking the Finance Committee's purview, putting together an ad hoc business Task Force, etc. From my meeting notes: “While the township cannot monitor safe business practices during COVID-19, perhaps it can task the Finance Committee to put together a Local Business Task Force of business leaders that will develop some guidelines that are specific for local businesses.” See here and here for more information and to listen to the conversation.

 

Instead, it was decided to “revamp” the Economic Development Committee (EDC) and solicit new members. It wasn’t until the June 11, 2020, BOS meeting that 7 people were named as new members. It may not be until June 15 or June 25 that the EDC becomes official and will meet.

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Newtown News of Interest
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