The White Plains Common Council voted at its July meeting to authorize sidewalk sales in the city as a way of assisting local businesses.
The proposal was put forward by the White Plains Business Improvement District (WP BID) on behalf of businesses throughout White Plains.
The sidewalk sales ordinance authorizes use of the city’s right-of-way for sidewalk sales every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday through October 9 from 10 a.m. to sunset. The city has waived permit fees for businesses that wish to participate.
Businesses will be responsible for maintaining a clean area around their sidewalk display and for taking in their display at the end of each day. Sidewalks must remain sufficiently clear to allow pedestrians to pass unobstructed.
“Our good working relationship with the White Plains BID has allowed us to implement several important initiatives that directly assist our local businesses,” said White Plains Mayor Tom Roach. “Our tide rises together. A strong and healthy business community benefits our whole community.”
“Expanding use of the sidewalks along the main arteries of our downtown is essential to providing a safe and welcoming socially engaging atmosphere at this time,” said BID Executive Director Brittany Brandwein. “We are appreciative of the city’s efforts to continue to creatively explore with us how to sustain small business activity, the lifeblood of our downtown.”
The action by the Council follows an earlier vote in June to temporarily amend the city’s sidewalk café ordinance in order to facilitate additional and expanded sidewalk dining and to significantly lower the permit fees. As a result of these changes, the Department of Public Works has processed more than double the usual amount of sidewalk café permits this year.
The BID and the city also partnered on a Dine and Drive-in movie series in June/July. The series consists of four movies at two locations. A number of restaurants have joined in to offer easy pick-up food specials on movie nights, and for the two movies shown in the Waller-Maple parking lot, certain restaurants are also offering delivery directly to cars during the screening.
Ticket proceeds are donated to the White Plains BID/Caring for COVID partnership, an effort to support local White Plains restaurants while simultaneously helping feed front line workers. The White Plains BID is matching every dollar donated to boost local businesses in the downtown district even further.
During the shut-down of businesses this spring due to COVID-19, the city worked with the BID to support restaurants providing take-out and delivery service by bagging parking meters in front of restaurants and allowing restaurants to put out sandwich boards and other signage promoting their take-out/delivery services.