Will outdoor dining plan boost Augusta's downtown businesses?
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- You could be dining on the streets and sidewalks in downtown Augusta soon.
City leaders just passed a plan yesterday to temporarily close some streets so businesses can serve more people outdoors.
The plan is to only shut down certain side streets downtown.
City leaders are thinking outside the box to help out these small businesses in the city.
Restaurant owners can apply for street-dining. They have to submit an outdoor safety plan to be eligible.
In a survey done by the mayor's office, most small business owners said long-term revenue was their biggest worry.
Some local shops also have not gotten help like the federal Small Business Administration loans that have been available.
To alleviate that, city leaders voted on the road-closure proposal.
“We just think it's the right thing to do for businesses to try and help them out. They're trying to make ends meet during these difficult times. This is something that I think won't be too much of a nuisance to shut down the street here,” District 7 Augusta Commissioner Sean Frantom said.
The closures will last two months and will likely only happen on certain days of the week.
City officials are only going to be closing roads downtown right now, but that could expand across Augusta if the plan is a success.