October 28, 2020
We are excited to report that Mayor de Blasio has just announced a plan for Open Storefronts! This is in response to the BID Association’s calls for such a program to help save small businesses, especially as we go into the holiday season. Details of the program can be found here.
Building on the success of the Open Restaurants and Open Streets programs, Open Storefronts will provide safe spaces for small businesses to rebound in challenging economic times. 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. Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the Open Storefronts program, permitting storefront businesses to use a portion of their sidewalk to display merchandise, sell goods, complete transactions, and provide queuing areas. The program will begin October 30th and run until December 31st.
The program is anticipated to impact 40,000 businesses and support over 450,000 employees, while providing customers with an additional option to shop in-person and locally ahead of the holiday season.
Business owners interested in participating in the Open Storefronts program should visit www.NYC.Gov/OpenStorefronts to identify their eligibility and self-register through the online survey. Retailers cannot use the space of adjacent businesses, and they must bring all furniture and goods indoors when closed.
What activities are / are not allowed in the Open Storefronts program?
- May erect temporary signage (i.e. A-frames), display goods, complete transactions, place seating and ropes/stanchions, conduct promotional activities, and place collapsible umbrellas and tents in eligible sidewalk areas and in roadway areas as part of Open Streets: Restaurants
- May not place heaters in outdoor areas
- May sell only dry goods outdoors, excluding items prohibited from outdoor sale (i.e. liquor, cigarettes/tobacco/e-cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, adult content)
- May not conduct personal services (i.e. haircuts, cosmetology) outdoors
- May only sell goods outdoors that a business is already licensed to sell indoors, or do not need a new license to sell
- Must abide by all existing permits and regulations that relate to product display and sales
- May allow for outdoor drop-off & pick-up of customer purchases
- Amplified sound is prohibited
- May not allow other businesses to use fronting sidewalk or roadway (for free or otherwise) except for a restaurant with permission to do so
- May conduct eligible activities from October 30 through December 31, 2020
- Must suspend all outdoor activities while a DSNY Snow Alert is in effect