WASHINGTON — D.C.'s non-essential businesses have been closed since March 24, and with the District's stay-at-home order extended through at least June 8, many local businesses are trying desperately to stay afloat. A pilot program through the D.C. government is offering a helping hand.
The Educational and Academic Retail Shops (EARS) Pilot will grant waivers to certain non-essential businesses, such as bookstores, allowing for curbside and front door pickup on orders placed in advance online or by phone. Those granted waivers must agree to share certain data with the government, to help them gain knowledge of how to safely reopen when businesses when stay-at-home orders are lifted.
As of May 19, 14 businesses had been granted a COVID-19 EARS Waiver. The businesses range from florists to bookstores, toy stores, and arts & crafts shops. The program, developed through the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, marks a new step in the city’s gradual reopening efforts.
Any non-essential business physically located in D.C. that is independently owned and operated may apply for a waiver under the pilot program.
"Middle C Music, Child's Play, and Politics & Prose are beloved local businesses and I know that residents have greatly missed them during the coronavirus emergency," Councilmember Mary Cheh said. "I'm so pleased that they will now be able to offer curbside pick-ups and, if all goes well, the success of this pilot could be a strong indicator for other small businesses as we begin the transition to reopening the District."
Approved EARS Pilot Waivers
- Allan Woods Flowers: 2645 Connecticut Ave NW, allanwoods.com/
- Child’s Play Toys and Books: 5536 Connecticut Avenue NW (Pickup "grab and go" and Curbside Service) childsplaytoysandbooks.com
- East City Bookshop: 645 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, eastcitybookshop.com
- Fairy Godmother Child Books and Toys: 319 7th Street, SE, (202) 420-8276
- Fantom Comic, LLC: 2010 P Street NW, Suite 3rd Floor, stores.comichub.com/fantom_comics
- Loyalty Bookstores: 843 Upshur St NW, loyaltybookstores.com
- Lost City Bookstores: 2467 18th Street NW (Pick-up "grab and go" only) lostcitybookstore.com
- Mahogany Bookstore:1231 Good Hope Road, SE, www.mahoganybooks.com
- Middle C Music Corp: 4530 Wisconsin Avenue NW (Pick-up "grab and go" only) www.middlecmusic.com
- Politics and Prose: 3 locations -- 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW, 70 District Square SW, 1270 5th Street NE (Pickup "grab and go" only) www.politics-prose.com
- She Loves Me: 808 Uphsur St. NW, www.shelovesme.com
- Solid States Books: 600 H Street NE, solidstatebooksdc.com
- Transcendence: 3428 Connecticut Avenue NW, transcendence-perfection-bliss.com
- Village Art and Craft Inc: 1625 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, bellydancethings.com