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Opening Streets to Help Business and Recreation

Release Date: 2020-05-18

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we know they are struggling and need support. We’ve been listening to what residents and business owners want and need and one concern that comes up over and over is space to physically distance.

On Tuesday night, the City Council will consider an open streets initiative I’ve brought forward, along with Councilmembers Jeannine Pearce, Suzie Price, Roberto Uranga and Al Austin, to open up more public spaces for outdoor dining, transit access, and economic activity with safe physical distancing.
Opening up streets and other public spaces to new uses creates more room for people to be outside, spend time with the community, and support local businesses without overcrowding.

While restaurant dining rooms are not yet allowed to open per state and local health orders in Long Beach, we are working hard on a plan to reopen restaurants safely and expand outdoor dining into open spaces, parking lots, streets, and sidewalks. We will be creative and listen to our local restaurant owners who are coming up with great ideas.

Restaurants are one of the businesses that face particular challenges with distancing going forward. Even though they’ve been allowed to continue serving customers through pickup and delivery, that hasn’t provided enough revenue for many establishments and some restaurants just aren’t set up for that model.

We want to do everything we can to help restaurants get open and stay open. That’s why I met via teleconference with a group of 15 Long Beach restaurateurs last week. They know the business and they offered insights and ideas that will guide us in this process.

We will all have to adapt to some new ways of doing things and I want to thank the business owners who have spoken with me for their input, their patience, and their investment in Long Beach. You provide valuable services to our community. I am committed to providing help and support you so you can continue to do so.

Thank you,

Mayor Robert Garcia