Photo Courtesy of NYC DOT
“Open Storefronts has given business owners an easy way to maximize their space and keep customers safe as they shop. And by introducing restaurants into the program, we’re giving local eateries more ways than ever to keep their communities vibrant,” Mayor de Blasio said.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced the Open Storefronts program, which permits storefront businesses to use a portion of their sidewalk to display merchandise, sell goods, complete transactions, and provide queuing areas, will be extended through Sept. 30, 2021. The mayor announced the program will also allow businesses to sell pre-packaged food on sidewalks, and allow restaurants to use sidewalks for take-out orders.
This program is a part of an effort to make New York City the world’s capital for healthy outdoor living and to advance the mayor’s recovery agenda.
“Open Storefronts has given business owners an easy way to maximize their space and keep customers safe as they shop. And by introducing restaurants into the program, we’re giving local eateries more ways than ever to keep their communities vibrant,” de Blasio said. “We remain committed to giving small businesses more chances to thrive, and we’re excited to give them more opportunities to participate in this program throughout the winter and warmer months.”
“There’s no question our small businesses have taken a tremendous hit because of this pandemic and we will continue to find new and creative ways to help them,” said Laura Anglin, deputy mayor for Operations. “Continuing and expanding Open Storefronts will not only give businesses valuable space outside of their building, but continues to transform the streetscape of this city for the better.”
An eight-foot clear path of sidewalk from the curb must be maintained for Open Storefronts to operate. Retailers cannot use the space of adjacent businesses, and they must bring all furniture and goods indoors when closed. For existing Open Streets: Restaurants locations, the Open Storefronts program will also permit businesses to use the curb lane directly fronting their storefront to conduct business activities during operating hours.
“The City is committed to finding innovative ways to support small businesses during this pandemic, especially those in our hardest hit neighborhoods,” said J. Philip Thompson, deputy mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “The extension of the Open Storefronts program, combined with our efforts to urge New Yorkers to shop local, will help our small businesses come back stronger than ever.”
Businesses can visit nyc.gov/openstorefronts to review eligibility requirements and to complete a brief online application.
“Open Storefronts is an essential part of the effort to help small businesses survive as the City continues its work to recover from the impacts of the COVID crisis, and we thank Mayor de Blasio for extending this initiative,” said Margaret Forgione, acting commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation. “We have seen how the ability to use a portion of the sidewalk as sales space has given merchants a much-needed boost, and we hope more store owners will take advantage of this program in the new year.”
New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett added, “A strong economic recovery means creating innovative solutions to help our small businesses recover safely.”