Mayor Brown announces first approvals for open air seating under SBSDI


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Speaking outside of Belsito in Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown announced the first approvals of open air seating for restaurants under the city’s Small Business Social Distancing Initiative (SBSDI).

The conference took place on Friday afternoon.

Two weeks ago, the SBSDI was launched to address the needs of small businesses that are facing challenges while crowd size-limiting measures are in place.

A task force was assembled to find ways to use spaces like parking lots, sidewalks and other city-owned properties to create open air seating or retail space for businesses. On June 1, the city launched an online application process.

As of 2 p.m., 27 businesses have applied for approval and three have received it. The process is ongoing, and more are expected to be approved by the end of the day.

“Our small business and restaurant community appreciated the speed with which the city set up this program and responded accordingly,” Brown said. “My administration will continue to work with them as they find ways to reopen their businesses and provide their regular set of services in a manner that is financially viable while also promoting the health and safety of their patrons and staff.”

Businesses looking to apply can do so here.

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