The safety of Downtown Wilkes-Barre’s residents, workers, and visitors is of the utmost importance to us here at the Diamond City Partnership (DCP).
We want you to know that we are monitoring all recommendations and updates from government officials surrounding COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), and we will inform our stakeholders of relevant changes. The first priority for everyone is to take appropriate steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure our entire community remains healthy.
How to Support Downtown Businesses:
During this time of adjustments in our daily routines, we encourage you to remember our many small businesses in downtown and throughout our community and to continue supporting them even if you cannot visit them physically. As always, follow guidance from public health officials regarding social distancing and proper health etiquette if and when visiting businesses and public spaces.
Specific types of retail businesses – such as banks, pharmacies, and convenience/general merchandise stores – have been deemed “life-sustaining,” pursuant to the Governor’s order. You can find a list of Downtown businesses that remain physically open here.
At this time, DCP is continuing our on-street cleaning operations throughout the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Improvement District, as permitted under the provisions of the Governor’s order.
DCP’s on-street operations are part of our core mission to provide clean and safe public sidewalks and spaces in Downtown. We have put in place extra procedures and safety provisions for our on-street staff and are reinforcing the recommendations about “social distancing.”
In keeping with the Governor’s order, DCP has closed its administrative office and we are working remotely. However, we are always available to respond to questions that need immediate answers – just contact us here.
Business Assistance Update:
Several public financing programs are currently available to help Downtown Wilkes-Barre businesses access working capital.
There are currently two federal loan options available through the CARES Act to provide funding to your small business: The EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loans) and the Payment Protection Program (PPP). These federal programs are offered through the US Small Business Administration and require the assistance of SBA certified lenders (typically your financial institution). For more information on these programs, including eligibility and the application process, please see the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber’s COVID-19 Resources page.
Additionally, the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is here to help with your small business concerns. SBDC Business Consultants are available for individual meetings by phone or real-time video conferencing.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s online Coronavirus Response Guide, with sections containing information for individuals, families, and businesses, can be found here.
Downtown Business Promotion Update:
Since the start of this crisis, DCP has been compiling a running list of downtown restaurants that are providing takeout and/or delivery. We’ve been posting that list on DCP’s social media channels (such as Instagram (@downtownwilkesbarre) and Facebook) and sharing it with regional media outlets.
However, we need your help in keeping this information up to date.
So, if you are a downtown retailer, restaurant, or service provider who’s adapting to the current situation by offering online shopping, deliver/takeout, virtual classes, or something similar, send us an email so we can help get the word out.