DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. - Small business owners are speaking up, pleading to move into the yellow phase of Pennsylvania’s reopening plan. Many are struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the business strip along Saxer Ave in Springfield, Delaware County, restaurants offer curbside pickup and dream of the day when customers can walk right in.
Robert Napoletano runs an Italian food specialty market in his family for three generations.
"I feel like small businesses need a chance to survive. There are countless small businesses going out of business or going to be because of this, so give us a chance to get back to work," he told FOX 29.
He believes Delco, with its more than half-million residents, is ready to move into the Gov. Tom Wolf's “yellow phase” of partial reopening like the 37 counties that will get there Friday.
Some counties are threatening to turn yellow without the governor’s approval...
"Would you consider that?" FOX 29's Jeff Cole asked Delaware County Council Chairman Brian Zidek. He replied, "We would not. I didn’t think it was a good idea two days ago and I think it’s less of a good idea today."
Delaware County has 5,084 coronavirus cases and 405 deaths. It’s argued 70 percent of the deaths and 20 percent of its positive cases are in its nursing home population but was rebuffed in having the nursing home numbers counted separately from its overall tally.
Zidek says he understands the pain of small businesses but doesn’t want to step back.
"We need to make sure we get to a place where we can sustain it. We don’t want to go back only to find we have a surge of folks get sick," he explained.
In a call with reporters Tuesday, Gov. Wolf said he was “frustrated” by the growing division in the state and argued he’s trying to “keep people safe.” He’s warned businesses that open without approval may lose their insurance.
In Chester County, the county council tells FOX 29 in a statement “re-opening is our priority...but we will only begin the stages of re-opening when it is truly safe and right to do so.”
For the latest local news, sports and weather, download the FOX 29 News app.
DOWNLOAD: FOX 29 NEWS APP