Selectmen aim to help local businesses during pandemic

Jun 23, 2020

As the Town of Wareham continues to reopen gradually, the Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator Derek Sullivan discussed ways to help local businesses during a meeting on Tuesday night, June 23. 

As part of the town’s effort to help businesses adapt to the pandemic, officials reached out to restaurants on Main Street to gauge interest in possible expansions to allow for outdoor seating space. 

Sullivan said that representatives from El Mariachi are currently filing for approval to add outdoor seating. 

He added that the town originally planned to allow them to use just the sidewalk on the side of the restaurant, but that some of the roadway between buildings might be made available to them as well. 

If approved, Sullivan said that El Mariachi’s outdoor seating would need to comply with social distancing guidelines by spacing tables at least six feet away from each other. He estimated that El Mariachi would be able to add at least six tables in the available space. 

Selectman Alan Slavin pointed out that as a seasonal business, Water Wizz could be severely impacted if it is not allowed to reopen soon because “basically they have an eight week window in order to make money,” in July and August. 

Slavin added that “I don’t know any business that can lose a whole year’s worth of revenue, and come back the next year and be solid.”

Slavin said that he reached out to state officials about Water Wizz’s issue, and that Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said she would be reaching out to the business shortly about possibilities for going forward, while still complying with guidelines from the State Board of Health.

While coronavirus cases in Wareham are trending downward, Sullivan said that it is important to monitor for possible changes, as more businesses start to reopen. He added that there have been “upticks” in cases nationally, as places have reopened across the country. 

Based on the June 17 report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Wareham reported 210 confirmed coronavirus cases. This marks only a slight increase in recent weeks, as the May 27 report listed Wareham as having exactly 200 cases.