The city’s successful Open Restaurants program has inspired a similar initiative, this time for shop owners.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will begin an Open Storefront program on Oct. 31, modeled after the program that has allowed restaurants to serve diners outside at reduced capacity. The new program will allow 40,000 small businesses to sell their goods in front of their stores.
“Everyone knows this is such a crucial time of the year for every small business,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press conference Wednesday. “We want them to maximize it.”
There are some caveats: Stores will need to keep an eight-foot clearing between their setups and the curb so that pedestrians can still use the sidewalk. Any equipment will need to be brought in at the end of the day, and shops can’t infringe on the space of adjacent storefronts.
The program applies only to those retailers who have ground-floor businesses, with stores given priority over street vendors.
The Open Restaurants program launched in June, and more than 10,000 dining establishments have opted in since. The de Blasio administration announced in September that it would be made permanent and year-round, although questions of how restaurants will thrive in colder months persist.
The Open Storefronts program does have a firm end date: It’ll run through Dec. 31.