NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio made a new announcement Tuesday on the Open Storefronts program that aims to help New York City small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city is extending the program, now running through September 30, 2021.
The Open Storefronts program assists existing ground-floor storefront businesses who want to use outdoor areas on a temporary basis.
It allows storefront businesses to use a portion of their sidewalk to display merchandise, sell goods, complete transactions, and provide queuing areas.
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.
Officials say the 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," De Blasio said. "And by introducing restaurants into the program, we're giving local eateries more ways than ever to keep their communities vibrant. 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."
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 review eligibility requirements and complete a brief online application.
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