Today, following weeks of closures or limited operations, businesses within the City of Orlando are resuming operations under Phase 1 of the State of Florida’s executive order, which requires retail or restaurant businesses to operate at 25 percent of their indoor capacity.
In an effort to help expedite a path to economic recovery and to further assist local businesses to reopen responsibly under the new guidelines, today Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the City of Orlando is advancing a package of actions that provide opportunities for businesses to temporarily expand their operational space and market their businesses outside, without the need to obtain city permits or pay any fees.
These opportunities include:
- Allowing businesses to expand retail sales and restaurant seating into outdoor areas such as private parking lots and public rights-of-way
- Authorizing businesses to use small, farmer’s market-style 12’ x 12’ tents to accommodate for sales and seating outdoors
- Granting businesses the ability to use extra banners and signage for marketing
- Covering the costs of downtown parking to encourage residents to patronize businesses within our urban core
Businesses can begin taking advantage of the majority of these opportunities effective immediately. The ability to expand operations into a public right-of-way and the downtown parking program will be considered by City Council on Monday, May 11.
Additionally, at the May 11 meeting, City Council will also vote to suspend the need to obtain any permits or pay any fees in order to take advantage of these new programs.
All programs will be available to businesses until September 1, 2020.
The reopening of these businesses and today’s announcement comes during what is typically National Small Business Week, a week that has been proclaimed for more than 50 years as a time to recognize the contributions of small business owners and entrepreneurs in our country. With the majority of businesses being closed nationwide as a result of COVID-19, the National Small Business Administration made the decision to postpone National Small Business Week.
Rather than postponing, the City of Orlando will use the originally planned week of May 3-9 to honor Small Business Week and remind the community why this year, more than ever, it’s critical to celebrate the impact and value our small businesses have in Orlando.