The new Open Storefronts program is designed to help small local businesses generate sales and stay in business by increasing their display and sales space on the sidewalks in front of their stores.
This new program is will benefit small stores and bodegas with narrow aisles which can accommodate just two or three customers at a time, by allowing them to use up to five feet of sidewalk space in front of their stores to display merchandise.
This is for merchandise only, not for services like haircuts or manicures.
The same rules apply for stores as for restaurants – mainly that there must be eight feet of open and clear space between merchandise displays and the curb, or such sidewalk obstructions as trees, bus stops and phone and information kiosks.
Any store – and any restaurant – which leaves less than eight feet of sidewalk space for pedestrians to pass with proper social distancing is in violation of the new rules and can be fined.
Call 311, the NYC information and support line, to report sidewalk stealing by restaurants or stores.
Here’s what you need to know about Open Storefronts,
Whether you are a small business owner or a shopper or pedestrian:
Any business with direct access from the street and has a storefront on the sidewalk are eligible.
All sidewalks wider than 8ft are eligible for the program
The program is available from October 30th to December 31st 2020.
It allows businesses to place objects and conduct activity up to 5ft from the business.
Objects must be placed against the business or as close as possible,objects cannot be over 5ft high and there must be an 8ft path for pedestrians (image below for reference).
Eligible businesses may display goods, complete transactions, place seating, conduct promotional activities and place collapsible umbrellas and tents.
Businesses may not conduct personal servicessuch as haircuts, cosmetology, nail care, etc
Find out more information on the official NYC Storefront link.
The NYC Storefront link has information for businesses to apply for a permit, and for shoppers and pedestrian to know what to expect.
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