Originally meant to last until October 31, the Outdoor Dining Program will now be available until December 1.
Boston will be extending the Temporary Outdoor Dining Program until December 1, 2020 to better support restaurants during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. The extension will apply to outdoor dining on both public and private property, according to Mayor Marty Walsh, who made the announcement on Tuesday, September 15.
“My heart goes out to many of the owners of the restaurants and the staff there. In many ways you are the heart and soul of our local economy,” Walsh said in his update outside City Hall. “We’re going to continue to listen to you and provide whatever support and flexibility we can to help you recover.”
According to the press release, restaurants participating in the Outdoor Dining Program may continue to make use of it until December 1, 2020, weather permitting or until the Board issues further guidance. Requests for further extensions will be considered on a case by case basis in the coming weeks and application fees will be waived for businesses that apply for outdoor propane heaters.
This announcement builds on the work Boston has undertaken to support small businesses during the City’s COVID-19 response. Earlier in May, the City of Boston announced new measures to help restaurants during the ongoing public health crisis, including expanding outdoor seating and waiving fees for outdoor space. The City also launched the Reopen Boston Fund, which continues to offer grants to Boston’s businesses of up to $2,000 to assist with reopening costs, including for PPE.
“Restaurants in our neighborhoods represent our culture, community, and innovation,” said Mayor Walsh. “Restaurants have faced incredible challenges during this ongoing public health crisis, and the City of Boston is committed to helping them survive and succeed, including by giving restaurants more flexibility around outdoor dining.”
[Featured image: @streganorthend, Instagram]