Message from Mayor Sherry Capello

Yesterday the County Commissioners approved a Resolution to declare that Lebanon County will operate under the “Yellow Phase” of the Governor’s Plan for Pennsylvania” while adhering to all established safety guidelines. However, the Resolution is not binding nor is a directive on any business that operates within Lebanon County. It is a suggestion. As a business that is not permitted to operate in a “Red Phase”, you should consult with an attorney to understand the ramifications of a decision to re-open. You should carefully consider your options. The Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce provides some pertinent links for additional information to review when considering these options. (Please see below.)

The Lebanon County District Attorney announced she will not prosecute or pursue legal action against any business which reopens, so long as the business complies with the mandates set forth in the DOH Secretary Levine’s 4-15-20 Order. This Order dictates how approved businesses must conduct themselves, and includes directives of no more than ten (10) people within an area, the use of personal protective equipment, and social distancing of six (6) feet or more. (Secretary Levine’s 4-15-20 Order)

Regarding the enforcement of any business not permitted to operate during a “Red Phase”, the Lebanon City Police Department will respond to calls for service based upon complaints. The business will be educated on the Governor’s Order that indicates that Lebanon County is in a Red Phase. Additionally, the business will be advised of Secretary Levine’s 4-15-20 Order concerning safety guidelines. Based upon the District Attorney’s position, the Lebanon Police Department will not file a criminal charge or citation against any business not permitted to operate in a “Red Phase”, however, after a warning, the Lebanon Police Department will issue a citation to any business violating Secretary Levine’s 4-15 20 Order concerning violations of safety guidelines. This is consistent with the guidelines issued by the District Attorney. Prior to this directive, the City Police Department had issued no charges or citations for business non-compliance.

The City of Lebanon supports our business community, is concerned for our economic recovery and wants to open up our community safely. My Administration is seeking approval to use Community Development Block Grant monies for a Business Recovery/Business Restart Forgiveness Loan Program. Details will be released in the near future. In the meantime, we request information from our business community. Please complete our Business Impact survey at the bottom of this communication. We wish you great fortitude as you work through this challenging and unprecedented time.
The Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce prepared information to provide to our business community as you consider your options.

  • The Governor’s threats to revoke licenses and permits are very serious. With the Commonwealth administering over 250 types of professional licenses covering a wide range of industries, employers should absolutely consider consulting an attorney to understand the ramifications of their decisions.

  • The Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner issued a warning on risks and increased liability with non-compliance of business closure orders. You can review that press release here. We encourage employers and businesses to contact their insurance carrier and inquire whether operating under these circumstances could jeopardize their coverage.

  • The PA Liquor Control Board issued an update to Advisory Notice No. 26, here, that outlines clarifications. A key point in the advisory is that the Board will only recognize the Governor’s designation of a county, despite any statements local officials may make, and that licensees must continue to adhere to the requirements set forth in the advisory notice or risk citation and/or license suspension.

  • PA Department of Agriculture outlined an order of restaurant enforcement actions and urges compliance. Read the release here.

  • PA has prepared flyers to promote COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses. Similar to other required postings (i.e. Workers’ Compensation or OSHA), these postings will be required to be clearly displayed at workplaces, along with publicly posted acknowledgement by the employer that the guidance is being adhered to. Flyers are available in English and Spanish.

  • The Lebanon Chamber’s website contains many helpful tools and guidance for operations as businesses consider in their pre-planning for their path to re-opening. Please visit here.

  • Check out BringingPABack.com/prepare-your-workplace for industry specific guidelines and best practices – inclusive of construction, restaurant & lodging, retail, manufacturing, bed & breakfast inns, childcare, and amusement parks & attractions.
  • The US Chamber of Commerce has many resources for businesses here including reopening guidance here.

  •  And finally, while the Governor’s business shutdown order is being challenged in court, his authority has been upheld to this point.

The City of Lebanon is still seeking information to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the businesses in our community while experiencing an unprecedented loss of income, temporary closures and more. In order to best understand the true impact COVID-19 has had on individual businesses, we are asking you to please complete the survey below. When you are finished, please email the completed survey to jmendoff@lebanonpa.org.