Restart Montco - Municipal Strategies
How Are Municipalities Thinking “Outside the Box” to Support Restaurants and Other Businesses?
As businesses throughout Montgomery County try to figure out how to restart during the COVID-19 pandemic and take advantage of the opportunities of the yellow and green phases, municipal leaders are being challenged to think “outside the box” to make it easier to restart the economy.
- Leon County Supports Local Businesses During COVID-19 Pandemic
This web app from Leon County in Tallahassee, Florida is a good example of a municipal tool that can help businesses. It consists of an interactive map that provides information about which restaurants are open for takeout, delivery, or drive-through and gives contact information and links to directions.
- Support Puget Sound - Small Business (Restaurants)
This web app from Seattle and the Puget Sound area is an interactive map providing information about which restaurants are open for curbside pickup, delivery, or takeout and also provides restaurant websites.
- Have a Seat: Starting Friday Outdoor Dining Is Back on Lansdale’s Menu
- New Rules Make Outdoor Dining Easier in Downtown Pottstown
- Lower Merion Expands Outdoor Dining Sales, Options for Businesses
- Curbside Pickup at Retail Stores Surges 208 Percent During Coronavirus Pandemic
CNBC highlights the dramatic growth in online retail orders and curbside pickup during the pandemic and notes that some think this practice is here to stay.
- How Retailers Are Adapting to Curbside Pickup
The National Retail Federation examines the challenges of managing curbside pickup and which best practices are developing.
- Is Curbside Pickup a Long-Term Strategy or Short-Term Fix?
National Real Estate Investors Online discusses how shopping center owners, Federal Realty Investment Trust and Kimco Realty Corporation, have created designated pickup locations at their shopping centers.
- Should Lansdale make short-term parking on Main Street permanent?
The borough of Lansdale has worked with its business community to set aside parking spaces for curbside pickup; some businesses like the idea enough that are suggesting making some permanent.
- Upper Merion Township has a Special Events Permit for temporary outdoor dining facilities.
- Upper Moreland Township has a resolution for temporary outdoor sales of food and merchandise.
- Ambler Borough closed local streets to accommodate outdoor dining for local restaurants. The borough manager and police chief have the authority to conduct “spot closures” of local streets to facilitate this.
- Whitemarsh Township expanded the areas where temporary tents are allowed to permit local businesses to conduct dining or sell merchandise in parts of parking lots.
- Not every municipality has to use the same solutions or techniques, but it can be useful to learn from one another.
- Short-term solutions may need leaders of a municipality to think “outside the box."
- Long-term solutions could include changes to the zoning code, permit process, and parking regulations.