Council Connection »Strauss Presents Extension of Free Café Street Permits as Pathway to Permanent Café Street Program
SEATTLE – Board Member Dan Strauss (District 6 – Northwest Seattle), president of the Regional planning committee, introduced legislation which extends free permits for outdoor cafes and restaurants until January 31, 2023. The program allows restaurants and other retail stores to use the streets outside their businesses for dining or outdoor exhibitions air.
In May 2021, board member Strauss adopted legislation to extend the pilot program until May 31, 2022. The new extension to January 31, 2023 gives small businesses the predictability they need as the permanent guidelines are finalized.
“Last year, I took steps to create a path to permanence for café streets after hearing from many small businesses about the success of the program,” board member Strauss said. “The pandemic has inspired us to use our outdoor spaces in new ways, and the addition of cafe streets in Seattle is adding vibrancy to our neighborhoods while saving so many small businesses. ”
“This extension is part of our path to permanence and will give Mayor Harrell, City Council and the Seattle Department of Transportation time to establish standing guidelines that are the right size and meet the needs of our city.” By introducing this legislation more than four months before the current pilot expires, we are giving restaurants and retail businesses the flexibility to stay open and invest in outdoor spaces as COVID-19 guidelines continue to change. ”
Councilor Strauss congratulated Mayor Bruce Harrell for his optimism, leadership and support for the Café Street program and is delighted to continue working with him to make this program permanent.
Extension legislation should be reviewed by the Seattle Transportation and Utilities Committee February 1 at 9:30 a.m., with a final vote by the City Council as of February 8 at 2:00 p.m.
The extension of the Cafe Streets program builds on the support of the Small Business Council during the pandemic. This includes the Bringing Business Home Ordinance, which allows microenterprises to operate from home; grants for small businesses through the Small Business Stabilization Fund; direct financial aid for workers in the restaurant, bar and hotel industry; and financial support for museums who have been denied federal assistance.