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Covid 19 Tourism Partner Resources

Southern Delaware Tourism will continually update this page with information of value to our Sussex County tourism partners. Please check back regularly.

If you have any questions or suggested additions, please email Tina at 

If you are in Southern Delaware and suspect you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, or have further questions regarding the Coronavirus, please call the DHSS information line: 1-866-408-1899.

Additional Resources

World Health Organization

Delaware Public Health

US Travel Association: 

CARES Act Eligibility Guide
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Information on the CARES Act, an economic relief package designed to deliver economic support to travel businesses, travel workers and their families.
Report on travel related economic impact of Coronavirus

Updates as of June 12, 2020: 

The Delaware Tourism Office will be distributing a postcard to local travelers to promote Delaware deals and promotions. With discounts on everything from accommodations to delicious dining. The postcard will direct travelers to

We invite you to complete the form here to submit a coupon or deal to the Delaware Tourism Office website. The deadline to submit is Monday, June 22, 2020. Submissions must be relevant to tourism related businesses. Please allow the deal or promotion to go through the end of September.

We are here to help share information about your location. The is a free resource and we look forward to promoting your location.

Updates as of June 5, 2020: 

Phase 2 of Delaware's economic reopening will begin at 8 a.m. on June 15. 

Places to get PPE for your staff:

In coordination with the Governor’s office and Division of Public Health, the “Summer Safely” messaging will help create a consistent message to residents and travelers about safe ways to experience Delaware. Please click here to access design files from flyers, to window clings to banner ads. 

Pandemic Relaunch Toolkit for Restaurants and Bars 

Printable Signs and Testing Guidelines for Businesses

Updated info from the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act
- PPP Business Interruption Loan updates from U.S. Travel Association can be viewed here.

- Payroll Tax Relief updates from U.S. Travel Association can be viewed here.

COVID-19 Customer Protection Standards
- The Division of Small Business along with the Division of Public Health developed the COVID-19 Customer Protection Standards initiative. Businesses following the Standards can get a free front adhesive window sticker to put at their front entrance – one per location – as a way to show customers that they are working to follow the State’s safety guidelines. 
The COVID-19 Customer Protection Standards is a voluntary, self-reporting program. View more information at

May 26, 2020: Update: As of June 1, the short term rental ban is lifted as is the 14 day self-quarantine for out of state visitors. For info, click here. 

May 21, 2020: Best practices for sanitation, cleaning, and disinfecting. Resources compiled by the Delaware Tourism Office: 

  • Please review Ecolab®'s cleaning and disinfecting guidance for the hospitality industry, which explains Novel Coronavirus and highlights preventive measures to thwart COVID-19 and other illnesses. The expert guidance of Ecolab® is supplemental to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
  • In response to COVID-19, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) has launched a “Stay Safe” initiative and developed enhanced industry-wide hotel cleaning standards. These health and safety guidelines are also in accordance with the CDC during the re-opening phase of the economy.
  • See recommended Operational Procedures as drafted by the Delaware Hotel & Lodging Association (DHLA) here. The procedures cover every aspect of hotel operations as it pertains to basic infection prevention measures, hygiene and environmental safety. 
  • The Delaware Restaurant Association has also developed reopening guidelines specific to restaurants and touts free online training offered by the National Restaurant Association. Visit for more details.
  • The American Alliance of Museums has compiled a guide to help museums manage the impacts of COVID-19, which also includes a re-opening resource guide and sample reopening plans.
  • Lastly, the Delaware Division of Small Business along with the Division of Public Health developed COVID-19 Customer Protection Standards to increase consumer confidence.  Eligible businesses can now obtain a front entrance window cling to verify they are following State safety guidelines.  

May 20, 2020: Links to guidance for Delaware U-Pick Operations; Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries; Christmas Tree Farms; CSAs; Creameries; Farmers Markets: Farm Stands; Garden Centers

May 19, 2020: Governor Carney announced Tuesday that retail establishments may operate by appointment beginning tomorrow, May 20, 2020. Restaurants can apply to expand outdoor seating effective June 1. Under the interim steps announced on Tuesday, all retail establishments in Delaware may operate by appointment only beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 20. 

Restaurants, bars, taprooms and craft breweries may also apply to expand outdoor seating capacity to safely serve additional customers when the businesses reopen next month. Applications to expand outdoor seating capacity will be available on Friday, May 22, and expansions would be authorized to begin on June 1. Applications details will be available at starting Friday.

Delaware retailers and restaurants are scheduled to open their indoor spaces at 30 percent of stated fire capacity during Phase 1 of Delaware’s economic reopening, beginning June 1. The additional interim steps announced on Tuesday will give retailers and restaurants additional new ways to safely expand their operations by appointment and outdoors.

Retail establishments covered by Tuesday’s announcement – including but not limited to clothing and shoe stores, used merchandise retailers and florists – may accept two appointments per half hour and must adhere to strict social distancing and cleaning guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Under Tuesday’s order, all Delaware food and drink establishments may apply to their local municipal or county jurisdiction to expand their outdoor seating capacity. Plans for adding outdoor capacity must consider local traffic patterns and noise ordinances. Boundaries must be clearly defined to prevent beverages from being carried offsite. Applicants that hold a liquor license must also have their plans reviewed by the Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control prior to receiving approval.

May 15, 2020: Governor Carney announced today the plan for Phase 1 of Delaware’s Reopening which is scheduled to begin on June 1, 2020. Businesses that will open during Phase 1 with restrictions include food and beverage establishments, arts and culture, malls, barber shops, hair salons, exercise facilities, realty, casinos, racetracks, parks, child care, youth sports and places of worship. View the full list of regulations for each business type here

For additional guidance and to view FAQs about Phase 1, please visit the Division of Small Business’ website.

Interstate travel restrictions as well as Delaware’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers are still in effect. Non-Delawareans who have been in the state for 14 days may visit beaches and parks and patronize businesses opening in Phase 1. 

May 5, 2020: Governor Carney announces interim steps allowing small businesses to expand their services with social distancing in place: Universal testing in nursing homes. Read more here

April 30, 2020: Info and Tips from the Safety, Health & Consumer Council: Includes financial resources for small businesses as well as info about crowdfunding, security, keeping employees safe, and more. Read more here

April 21, 2020: Delaware Nonprofits Can Access paycheck Protection Program Loan through NDC and Stepping Stones: When the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relaunches, Delaware nonprofits will have exclusing access to $12 million in funds designated by the National Development council (NDC). Read more here

SAVE SMALL BUSINESS FUND" GRANT APPLICATION GOES LIVE TODAY, 4/20/2020: The Save Small Business Fund, a grant making initiative funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, is providing $5,000 in short-term relief to employers across the United States. These one-time supplemental cash grants are for businesses that:

  • Employ between 3 and 20 people
  • Be located in an economically vulnerable community 
  • Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic

The grant application will go live on Monday, April 20 at 12:00 PM PT/3:00 PM ET. To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund and to apply for a grant, ´╗┐click HERE

Sussex County:

Steps the County is taking to ease financial hardships during the economic emergency include:

·           Suspending the 3 percent accommodations tax adopted in November 2019 and implemented Jan. 1. The surcharge is for the rent of any room or rooms in a hotel, motel, or tourist home in unincorporated portions of the county, with revenue collected earmarked for projects and programs, such as beach nourishment, waterway dredging, economic development, and water quality/flood control;

·           Contributing up to $250,000 in County funds to the Delaware State Housing Authority’s Housing Assistance Program, with that money earmarked for renters in Sussex County.

·           Deferring until further notice the collection of lease payments for tenants of the Delaware Coastal Airport and Delaware Coastal Business Park.

SBA: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

SBA Delaware District Office

The Delaware district office of the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers daily calls to provide small business owners and nonprofits the latest information on SBA programs. Each weekday at 3 PM, Delaware SBA staff are available on an open call to those with questions about new or changing programs. Please join in at 3 PM daily by calling 1-202-765-1264 and entering the conference ID#: 827 299 626. 

SBA Contact: Michael Rossi - Lender Relations/District International Trade Officer –  

Office: (302)574-6749, Mobile: (302) 333-4119, Email: 

Delaware Community Foundation Grants for Non Profits

Delaware nonprofits affected by COVID-19 are invited to apply for immediate grants from the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund. The application is now open at Only a few grants will be awarded in the first week. Nonprofits are encouraged to reapply weekly.  

Hotels for Hope:

National Restaurant Association: COVID-19 Restaurant Impact Survey

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) Executive Summary for Restaurants Based on March 24, 2020 Draft Legislative Text – All Provisions Subject to Change

From the Delaware Tourism Office

In an effort to support the Delaware tourism industry partners, please use this form to provide updates on hotel and event cancellations or business closures. We will send a reminder to complete this form each week during the peak of the impact in Delaware. 

Sussex County Office of Economic Development Resources

Sussex County Office of Economic Development at Sussex County Government has compiled this information sheet to help business owner navigate thru the current Covid-19 environment. We plan to continue to update this information when we get additional news.  Regarding SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program:  The presentations (see links below) describe in detail how the program works with some basic eligibility details.  The presentations also explains options if a small business has an existing SBA Loan, (i.e. 7(a) Loan, Loan or a Micro Loan) in the event they are struggling to repay these obligations.  Also included are instructions for navigating the EIDL Loan application and various points of contacts to assist perspective applicants with questions. Please use the following website for the most up-to-date information:

Coronavirus Info Sheet               Coronavirus SBA Options               EIDL Application Instructions

Also, posted on March 26 by the Sussex County Office of Economic Development: A step-by-step tutorial for applying for an SBA Disaster Relief Loan. Click here. 

Latest updates: 

Governor Carney's 9th Modification to State of Emergency Declaration: Governor Carney’s ninth modification to the State of Emergency declaration limits public gatherings to 10 people through May 15, or until the public health threat has been eliminated. The order also requires new action from businesses that remain open. Under Governor Carney’s modified emergency order, businesses must: 

- Allow no more than 20 percent of stated fire capacity in the store at any given time – and no more than 10 percent during exclusive hours for high-risk       populations.
- Clearly mark six-foot spacing in check-out lines and other high-traffic areas, including outside.
- Discontinue any self-serve foods, or product sampling.
- Designate staff to enforce the number of people coming into the store and enforce limits.

March 25: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

March 25: Governor Carney Shares Frequently Asked Questions on Essential Businesses

March 24: The Delaware Restaurant Association has formed the Emergency Action Trust (E.A.T.s to provide emergency funding to hospitality workers. The Trust, funded by private, community, and individual donations, will distribute individual $500 grants to frontline industry employees during these uncertain times of mandated restaurant shutdowns. Visit

March 22: Governor Carney Issues Stay-at-Home Order for Delawareans. Governor orders non-essential businesses to close at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning. To view the full press release, please click here. For a full list of essential and non-essential businesses, as defined by the order, please click here. To utilize the list, you’ll need your business’s NAICS code. All businesses should have a NAICS code or codes on their unemployment insurance forms or on their most recent tax return. Delaware employers with questions about how they may be impacted can view FAQs here. Any additional questions, please email, or call 302-577-8477 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Emails are encouraged due to potentially high call volume.

March 20: Applications are now available for Delaware’s Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP). Click here to get started.

You may also apply for an Economic Injury Disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration here. Terms of the loans, interest rates and more are available here.

The Department of Labor has announced adjustments in unemployment rules for hospitality workers due to COVID-19. Learn more here.

March 19: Delaware Tourism Office:  Last evening, Delaware was approved for an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. These loans assist small businesses, nonprofits and more, in meeting ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as the result of a disaster, in this case, COVID-19. You can apply for a loan through the program here and to view terms of the loans, interest rates and more, please visit this site.

To assist hospitality-related businesses in Delaware that have been economically impacted by COVID-19, the Division of Small Business has launched the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP).  This program makes available no-interest loans of up to $10,000 per business per month and is open to businesses with less than $1.5 million in annual revenue and have been operating for at least 12 months. The loans are intended to help the estimated 2,700 affected Delaware businesses in the hospitality industry cover immediate, unavoidable expenses over the next few months. Please gather or complete these materials for your application which will be available online later this week.

The Department of Labor announced adjustments in unemployment rules for hospitality workers due to COVID-19. These adjustments will permit hospitality employees to earn part-time income while collecting benefits, provided employees can demonstrate decreased hours and earnings. The DOL is working to make benefits available within one week of a claim being received. Learn more here.

March 18: Governor Carney Issues Second Update to Emergency Declaration

March 18: Governor Carney Announces HELP Program to Support Delaware Small Businesses

March 17: Governor Carney Requests Federal Assistance for Small Businesses

March 17: Paid Leave and Unemployment Insurance Responses to COVID-19

March 17: Tax Credit for Paid Sick and Family Leave in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act