coronavirus in nyc

NYC Open Storefronts Initiative to Allow Businesses to Expand Onto Sidewalks

The initiative will kick off this Friday and run through Dec. 31 and is modeled after the Open Restaurants and Open Streets programs

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What to Know

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of the city's Open Storefronts initiative -- allowing for businesses to use sidewalks in front of their stores, in the same way restaurants currently do, in order to welcome back more customers safely during the pandemic.
  • The initiative will kick off this Friday and run through Dec. 31 and is modeled after the Open Restaurants and Open Streets programs
  • Storeowners interested in applying, can visit nyc.gov/OpenStorefronts.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of the city's Open Storefronts initiative -- allowing for businesses to use sidewalks in front of their stores, in the same way restaurants currently do, in order to welcome back more customers safely during the pandemic.

The initiative will kick off this Friday and run through Dec. 31 and is modeled after the Open Restaurants and Open Streets programs.

De Blasio says the move will ultimately help tens of thousands of stores stay in business during the pandemic.

"Here is an opportunity that will reach over 40,000 small businesses in the city and will allow them to sell outdoors right in front of their businesses, to have a lot more people to be able to come and buy, to be able to expand their staff, the number of people they employ," de Blasio said.

De Blasio said the initiative calls for the same process as Open Restaurants and involves a "small application" and "very little red tape."

"We want to cut through the red tape," he said. " We want to make it easy for people to move forward."

Aside from utilizing the sidewalks immediately in front of their stores, businesses can team up and apply for open street space. Additionally, businesses on existing Open Streets can use the curb lane directly in front of their stores.

Storeowners interested in applying, can visit nyc.gov/OpenStorefronts.

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