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Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Open Storefronts Program

Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Open Storefronts Program

The Open Storefronts program will permit storefront businesses to use part of their sidewalk to display merchandise, sell goods, complete transactions, and provide queuing areas through Dec. 31.

Following the success of the Open Restaurants and Open Streets programs, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the Open Storefronts program today, which will provide safe spaces for small businesses to display merchandise, sell goods, complete transactions, and provide queuing areas to their customers. This effort is part of the Mayor's recovery agenda, which aims to help small businesses rebound in these challenging economic times and centered on public health and social justice. The Open Storefronts program is scheduled to begin Oct. 30 and run through Dec. 31. 

An eight-foot clear path of sidewalk from the curb must be maintained in order for Open Storefronts to operate, according to the City. Retailers can't use the space of adjacent businesses, and all furniture and goods must be brought indoors when the store closes. If the business is located on an existing "Open Street," the business will also be permitted to use the curb lane directly fronting their storefront to conduct business during their operating hours. Businesses can visit to review eligibility requirements and to complete the online application. 

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“Rebuilding a fairer, better New York City means maximizing use of our outdoor space, helping businesses keep their employees, and giving New Yorkers more reasons than ever to shop local and enjoy their communities. Open Storefronts does all three,” said de Blasio. “This program builds on the successful legacy of our Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs, and I look forward to finding more ways than ever to reimagine our urban landscape.”

de Blasio anticipates that the program will impact 40,000 businesses and support over 450,000 employees. It will also provide customers with an additional option to shop in-person and shop locally before the holiday season, says de Blasio. 

"Outdoor space has been a lifeline for bars and restaurants, and there's no reason why our city shouldn't give retailers space outdoors as well. Open Storefronts and the reopening of our hugely popular winter markets will continue our city's reimagining of how we use our street space to help businesses and New Yorkers get the most out of our streetscape,” said NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

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Melissa Wickes

Author: Melissa Wickes is a graduate of Binghamton University and the NYU Summer Publishing Institute. She's written hundreds of articles to help New York parents make better decisions for their families. When she's not writing, you can find her eating pasta, playing guitar, or watching reality TV. See More

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