COVID-19 Tourism Partner Resources

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 tinac@visitsoutherndelaware.com 

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

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: michael.rossi@sba.gov 

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 delcf.org/covid-grants. Only a few grants will be awarded in the first week. Nonprofits are encouraged to reapply weekly.  

Hotels for Hope: https://www.ahla.com/ahlas-hospitality-hope-initiative

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: http://de.gov/coronavirus

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 DelawareRestaurant.org

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 covid19faq@delaware.gov, 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