Pelham to start hotline for local businesses

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

PELHAM – With uncertainty surrounding local business throughout Shelby County and what exactly is considered an essential business, the city of Pelham and Mayor Gary Waters are doing what they can to help the city’s business make it through the COVID-19 outbreak.

“All of our businesses are essential,” Waters said in a press release. “Some businesses are required by federal mandates to temporarily close or make operational changes, but they are still essential.”

That statement from Waters comes after several non-essential businesses were told to shut their doors in the city of Birmingham, while an order from Gov. Kay Ivey has forced restaurants, breweries, bars and other businesses to only offer takeout options instead of in-person transactions.

Waters said he isn’t going to dictate how businesses in Pelham operate or when they should be closed or open to the public.

“We are in the city of Pelham and in Shelby County, and we are not going to dictate to you how to run your business,” he said in the release. “You are quite capable of adhering to the federal mandates on your own.”

Waters said he has visited with several local businesses over the last two weeks and also had phone conversations with others to see how they were doing. His main messages is that he and the city are there for support.

“I’m watching our businesses jump in to help others in the community where needed and reach out to others as well,” he said. “In order to help you, the city has chosen not to inundate you with more information, instead we have redeployed our library professionals to gather information and provide a resource to our businesses in the form of a hotline.”

Pelham businesses will be able to send email questions to the hotline effective immediately using the email address business@pelhamalabama.gov.

“The team is committed to answering your questions within one business day,” Waters said. “If we don’t know the answer, we will find the answer or connect you to the proper resource to help.”

In addition to the email hotline, the city will have a phone hotline up and ready starting Friday, March 27, at 8 a.m., which you can reach by calling 205-620-6454. The hotline will have someone available to answer from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Waters also thanked the businesses for their support of the community and asked that they not hesitate to reach out to him or the business hotline with any questions.