The Open Storefronts program, which launched last October, will be extended through September 30, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced. The program will also permit businesses to sell pre-packaged food on sidewalks, and restaurants can use sidewalks for takeout orders.
Stores will also be allowed to complete transactions and provide queuing areas on the sidewalk.
“Open Storefronts has given business owners an easy way to maximize their space and keep customers safe as they shop,” de Blasio said. “Any by introducing restaurants into the program, we’re giving local eateries more ways than ever to keep their communities vibrant.”
Retailers must maintain an eight-foot clear path of sidewalk from the curb as part of Open Storefronts. Stores cannot use the space of an adjacent business, and they must bring all furniture or goods indoors when they close.
Open Storefont businesses that are located on a street that also participates in the Open Restaurants program can use the curb lane directly fronting their storefront to conduct business during operating hours.
Deputy Mayor for Operations Laura Anglin said in a statement that continuing Open Storefronts will not only give businesses valuable space outside of their building, but also transform the streetscape of the city.
“There’s no question our small businesses have taken a tremendous hit because of this pandemic,” she said, “and we will continue to find new and creative ways to help them.”
Margaret Forgion, acting commissioner of the Department of Transportation (DOT), said Open Storefronts will help small businesses survive as the city continues its recovery work from the COVID crisis.
“We have seen how the ability to use a portion of the sidewalk as sales space has given merchants a much-needed boost,” she said in a statement, “and we hope more store owners will take advantage of this program in the new year.”