City Announces Open Storefront Program Ahead of Holiday Shopping Season

Diagram of what could be allowed through the Open Storefront Program. Image Credit: Mayor’s Office

The program is aimed to help provide more opportunities to shop safely. On October 28, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the Open Storefronts program. Building on the success of the Mayor’s Open Restaurants and Open Streets program, Open Storefronts will provide safe spaces for small businesses to conduct business in the challenging economic environment while advancing Mayor de Blasio’s Recovery Agenda.

The program is expected to impact 40,000 businesses and support over 450,000 employees while providing customers with an additional option to shop in-person and locally ahead of the holiday shopping season. The Open Storefronts program began on October 30, 2020 and is set to run until December 31, 2020.

The Open Storefronts program will enable storefront businesses to use part of the sidewalk outside of the business to display merchandise, sell goods, complete transactions, and provide queuing areas. Some of the requirements for retailers to participate in the program include:

· Retailers must maintain an eight-foot clear path of sidewalk from the curb.

· Retailers cannot use the space of adjacent retailers.

· Retailers must bring all furniture and goods indoors when closed.

To review eligibility requirements for the program and complete a brief application for the program click here.

Speaking on the project, Mayor de Blasio said: “rebuilding a fairer, better New York City means maximizing use of our outdoor space, helping businesses keep their employees, and giving New Yorkers more reasons than ever to shop local and enjoy their communities. Open Storefronts does all three.”

By: Lynsey Smith (Lynsey is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)


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