A total of eight retail stores that sell books and educational material in the District of Columbia are allowed to carry out curbside or sidewalk pick-up operations as of Monday, May 18.
The move came after a number of Northwest D.C. businesses that work in the educational or academic area reached out to D.C. officials, including Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh, with petitions, asking for an exemption from Mayor Muriel Bowser’s general ban through the use of curbside delivery or pick-up.
Requests from business owners prompted a pilot program launched by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
Titled the Educational and Academic Retail Shops (EARS) pilot, the program grants waivers to local educational and academic retail shops to do curbside and front door pick-up for orders placed online or by phone.
However, nonessential businesses cannot automatically benefit from the exemption. They have to apply for the EARS pilot program and receive approval.
— Mary M. Cheh (@marycheh) May 18, 2020
All sales must be completed in advance either online or by phone. And the stores must agree to share data and information with the Mayor’s Office about their operations. Among the types of businesses that are eligible for the program are bookstores, art supplies stores, toys stores, office supply stores, music stores, card shops, florists and sundries.
The stores must be independently owned and operated, as well being physically located in Washington, D.C.
“The goal with this pilot is to learn important lessons about reopening while ensuring safe operations,” a statement released by the Office said.
“To me, it didn’t involve very much of a leap to say these are essential, especially when schools do open up, so I’m happy they’re beginning to do it this way,” Cheh was quoted as saying about the new program. “We’re not just going to open up full bore, we’re going to to do it in incremental steps, and this is the first of an incremental kind of opening.”
The D.C. businesses given waivers as of Monday are as follows:
Child’s Play Toys and Books, 5536 Connecticut Avenue NW (Pickup “grab and go” and Curbside Service) https://childsplaytoysandbooks.com
Fairy Godmother Child Books and Toys, 319 7th Street, SE, (202) 420-8276
Loyalty Bookstores, 843 Upshur St NW, https://www.loyaltybookstores.com/
Lost City Bookstores, 2467 18th Street NW (Pick-up “grab and go” only) https://lostcitybookstore.com
Mahogany Bookstore, 1231 Good Hope Road, SE, https://www.mahoganybooks.com/
Middle C Music Corp, 4530 Wisconsin Avenue NW (Pick-up “grab and go” only) http://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) https://www.politics-prose.com
Village Art and Craft Inc., 1625 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, http://bellydancethings.com/
On May 13, Mayor Bowser extended the District’s public health emergency and current stay-at-home order through June 8, which means most nonessential businesses remain closed until then.