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Mayor Bill de Blasio announces Open Storefronts program to ease business operations in NYC

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Mayor Bill de Blasio 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 September 30, 2021. 

The mayor announced the program will also allow businesses to sell prepackaged 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, which is centered on public health and social justice.

“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,” said Mayor de Blasio. “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."

“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.”

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. Businesses can visit www.nyc.gov/openstorefronts to review eligibility requirements and to complete a brief online application.

“The pandemic has caused the City to reimagine the way we use our public spaces to help our small business economy, while adhering to health and safety regulations,” said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Extending the Open Storefronts program will help both retail and restaurant businesses stay resilient and provide a much-needed boost during these unprecedented times.”

"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."

"A strong economic recovery means creating innovative solutions to help our small businesses recover safely," said James Patchett, president and CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation. "Extending the Open Storefront program is advancing this vision by leveraging our open spaces to encourage New Yorkers to shop locally, while providing a boost to small businesses and retailers in need."

"We are extremely happy to hear about the storefront program extension," said Bobby Sansarran, SHAKTI Saree & Spiritual.

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