Delaware's Latest State Updates for Small Business

Date: April 01, 2020

State-specific updates related to COVID-19


Retail, hair dressers able to resume limited services while maintaining health guidelines

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday announced a series of interim steps allowing small businesses to resume limited operations effective 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 8.

The goal of the interim steps is to provide economic relief to Delaware citizens and businesses who are struggling financially – while maintaining strict adherence to health and safety guidelines. The steps also will help as Delawareans and Delaware businesses adapt to new ways of operating once Phase 1 begins. 

the interim steps the Governor announced are effective at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 8:

  • Small business retailers will be allowed to do business using curbside pickup as long as social distancing can be maintained.  These retailers include:
    • Clothing stores
    • Shoe stores
    • Sporting goods, hobby, musical instruments
    • Book, periodical, music stores
    • Department stores
    • Tobacco and Vape
    • Other general merchandise
    • Office supply, stationery, and gift stores
    • Used merchandise stores
    • Consumer goods rental
  • Jewelry stores may do business by appointment only, and the Governor has instructed the Division of Small Business to consider additional changes like this for other similar retailers.
  • Cosmetology: Hair care services only are permitted to be offered, and only to workers at essential businesses. Guidelines include:
    • No more than two appointments at a time per location (and never more than the number of available staff, so just one for a sole proprietor). Need to leave 15 minutes between appointments for proper cleaning.
    • Employees and customers must wear cloth face masks at all times, and customers must cancel appointments if they have any reason to believe they may be ill or may have come into contact with the virus.
    • Staff must wear disposable gloves when providing services and must throw away gloves between customers and wash hands.
    • Employer must require employees to report their temperature daily — above 99.5 means they are ineligible to work.
    • Customer stations must be sanitized between use, along with any equipment used for the customer. In addition, any item a customer handles (like a magazine) must leave with the customer.
    • Entrance door must remain locked to outside to prevent walk-ins.
  • Other
    • Golf carts allowed at courses for 1 rider at a time with proper cleaning between customers
    • Drive thru movies are permitted, but patrons must remain inside vehicles and social distancing must be maintained at all times.

Employees required to report to work as a result of these changes will now be permitted to utilize child care services, provided neither parent works from home and they do not have alternate care.



the Delaware Department of Labor is announcing the launch of a new unemployment insurance benefits system that will process claims for independent contractors, self-employed individuals, and others as detailed in the CARES Act. These individuals can file benefits claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance beginning the week of May 11, 2020.
Under federal guidelines, for workers to be eligible for PUA, they must first apply for benefits through the traditional unemployment system and be denied. Applicants will then receive a letter of denial for traditional unemployment benefits.
The denial letter will trigger a second letter explaining their potential eligibility for PUA and specific instructions on how to apply. The letter will explain information on the following:
  • How to access the new PUA Benefits website
  • Login details for logging into the website.
  • Documentation required when applying for PUA benefits.


Gov. John Carney ordered the wearing of face coverings or masks in public in the latest emergency declaration. 

Employees and customers are included in the order effective at 8 am on Tuesday, April 28. Businesses have until May 1 to comply. The order applies to grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and public transportation.


 Governor John Carney issued an Executive Order announcing the closure of all non-essential businesses in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Effective April 1, however, all essential businesses MUST post the following sings in ENGLISH and SPANISH:

We know you have questions as current events surrounding the COVID-19 crisis continue to unfold. NFIB wants to make sure you have the resources you need to come out of this public health and economic crisis as strong as ever.  The state has a link that may answer frequently asked questions:

Delaware Coronavirus – Guidance for Businesses

As always, please bookmark and visit national websites for a complete overview of federal resources related to COVID-19.




Related Content: Small Business News | Delaware

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