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Citywide News

Posted on: June 8, 2020

Emergency ordinance streamlines outdoor business expansion

OUTDOOR DINING

The City of Taylor has created and approved an emergency ordinance streamlining a business’s ability to expand use of outdoor property, events, signage and other activities related to governmental restrictions due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

All of this is being done consistent with the visions of Wayne County and the Southern Wayne Regional Chamber, according to Mayor Rick Sollars.

“We have recognized quickly is that small businesses – especially restaurants and bars at the present time – are having difficulties dealing with the health restrictions involving building capacities,” Mayor Sollars said. “We understand the importance of social distancing during this health crisis, but we also want to give our businesses an opportunity to compete, excel financially and serve their customers as best as possible. Many times, that will involve expanded outdoor offerings. Our job is to make it easier for businesses to expand outdoors, while also respecting the social distancing mandates.”

On Tuesday, June 2, City Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance to temporarily permit City officials to waive strict compliance with various codes and ordinances to facilitate business recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Temporary Emergency COVID-19 Recovery Ordinance immediately enables restaurateurs and bar owners to, in certain circumstances, expand outdoor seating and other offerings. They will still go through a step-by-step process to receive an Outdoor Dining & Seating Permit, but the entire program has been streamlined.

As the warm summer months come into play in Michigan, the need for outdoor business has become more and more pronounced, not only for the business owner, but for the customer. Business owners, heavily restricted by new emergency building capacities, are predicted to have difficulty remaining in operation. On the other hand, customers often feel safer and more at ease in outdoor settings.

Small businesses across America make the country’s economy purr. According to 2016 statistics, 46 percent of the country’s workforce is employed by businesses with 500 or less workers; 33 percent of the workforce is employed by businesses with less than 100 workers; and 16 percent of America’s workforce is employed by companies with less than 20 workers.

“These types of statistics are hardly misleading,” Mayor Sollars said. “These types of small businesses are the engine that drives our economy. We know that they will struggle to survive this pandemic. Therefore, we need to help them right now. Supporting them later is not an option.”

The new ordinance will take effect immediately and will not expire until November 30, 2020.

The process is housed on the City of Taylor’s website at www.cityoftaylor.com along with an easy step-by-step process, and important supporting links and documentation for businesses that seek to apply.

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