Downtown Chambersburg Inc. aims to help restaurants ‘Survive and Thrive’

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Donations are being sought for downtown Chambersburg restaurants as a New Year’s boost after a difficult holiday season.

Downtown Chambersburg Inc. resurrected the Downtown Strong: Survive & Thrive Campaign, which lasted for about a month in the spring, and will continue to accept financial gifts through the end of January.

“The more the merrier,” DCI President Sam Thrush said of donations.

He created a website ( where people can make financial gifts, and also will provide opportunities for giving through Facebook posts and email blasts.

Businesses have to apply for funding, and a small team of DCI board members will determine who is awarded the money. Thrush hopes to give a handful of downtown restaurants a couple hundred dollars each in February.

​The coronavirus pandemic caused nonlife-sustaining businesses to close for in-person business in March, and some were allowed to start reopening in May. Then, on Dec. 10, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that rising cases of COVID-19 in the state necessitated tighter restrictions to resume. At 12:01 a.m. Dec. 12, and continuing until 8 a.m. Jan. 4, 2021, those limitations include prohibiting in-person indoor dining at bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, social clubs and private catered events. Outdoor dining, and takeout food service and alcohol sales, are allowed to continue.

During that time period, Wolf also announced that:

● Indoor gatherings and events with more than 10 people must stop. Houses of worship are excluded, but alternative methods of offering religious services that limit in-person gatherings are encouraged.

● Outdoor gatherings and events for more than 50 persons must cease.

● All in-person businesses serving the public may only operate at up to 50% of the maximum capacity on their certificates of occupancy, unless other limitations are already in place.

● Indoor operations at gyms and fitness facilities are prohibited.

● Outdoor facilities and outdoor classes can continue, but all participants must wear face coverings and practice physical-distancing requirements.

● All in-person businesses in the entertainment industry serving the public within a building or defined indoor area are prohibited from operating.

​The timing of the limitations put a major damper on holiday dining and shopping, Thrush said.

“Last year, there were no restrictions,” Thrush said. “Last holiday season was definitely better than this holiday season.”

Those who want to make donations to help downtown Chambersburg restaurants survive the pandemic may do so at

For more information, go to; or contact Thrush at 717-264-7101, ext. 204, or [email protected].

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