Yorktown Should Extend Outdoor Dining, Retail for Another Year

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The outdoor dining and retail initiative that was put in place to facilitate commerce for our impacted businesses is set to expire on Dec 31. If you recall the initiative, which the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce helped craft and advocated for, was put in place with the advent of COVID-19 to give businesses of all types more robust and diverse opportunities to continue to stay open and “do business.” 

The temporary legislation was extremely successful, and I applaud Supervisor Matt Slater and the Town Board for taking appropriate action. The initiative was also a model for other municipalities and allowed businesses across Westchester to not only survive but thrive. I am very proud of the role the Yorktown chamber played in this endeavor.

Councilman Ed Lachterman, a lifelong restaurateur, agrees the time has come to extend this legislation to allow our businesses to continue to thrive in this not-so-post-pandemic world we still live in. In fact, the new Omicron strain of COVID-19 has appeared in other countries and has resulted in a new state of emergency. In our new reality and during the holidays, COVID numbers almost inevitably seem to creep up, and I believe this legislation not only helped to keep numbers down in the past but will help to keep them down in the present and future.

Truth be told, I also have selfish reasons for promoting the outdoor dining and retail initiative. I like it! I enjoy shopping and dining outside. I appreciate the feel that it gives Yorktown’s five hamlets.

What can be done? The Town Board, which has been extremely receptive to the legislation, can simply extend the deadline another 12 months or longer. It will help keep our businesses and eateries active, it will help keep our workers employed and it will help keep our citizens safe.

Sergio Esposito

Sergio Esposito has been the president of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce and is a Yorktown councilman-elect.

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