With temperatures dropping, the North Hempstead unanimously approved a local law designed to further assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19 at a meeting last month.
The measure comes in response to reduced indoor capacity for businesses due to the pandemic, which resulted in numerous restaurants and other establishments to apply for permits to place seating outdoors.
The recently-passed legislation will allow those restaurants, public assembly uses, and certain personal service uses to continue operating outdoors until May 1, 2021, unless state restrictions limiting interior occupancy are repealed or altered.
“Our local businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. We must make it easy for them to operate outdoors through the winter, while still keeping their customers safe,” North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth said. “It is our hope that the addition of outdoor heaters and the use of outdoor tents will encourage residents to continue supporting our local businesses.
Businesses participating in the initiative and using outdoor heaters and temporary tents will be required to do so in compliance with the New York State Fire Code, the Nassau County Fire Ordinance, and the applicable permit provisions of the Town Code.
This effort is part of the Town’s “Lift Up Local” initiative, which was designed by Bosworth’s internal Business Recovery Response Workgroup.
The group’s goal is to find ways to help businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and so far has helped establish dining in local parks, expanded outdoor dining programs, created a “parklet” dining program, and facilitated street closures to help attract customers.