Proposal Extends Outdoor Dining Options

BOSTON – State Senator Nick Collins has offered an amendment to the State’s annual budget that would keep in place critical economic development tools for restaurants across the city and state. Under his proposal, municipalities would be empowered to continue expanded outdoor-dining authorizations for restaurants for a full year after the state of emergency is lifted.

The original authorization of expanded outdoor dining was one of the Commonwealth’s responses to COVID-19 and its impacts on restaurants, small businesses, and main streets. Since the Governor announced the state of emergency will be lifted on June 15th, the authorization granted to municipalities to allow outdoor dining is set to expire August 15th. Many restaurants and businesses say they still need support and time to recover.

“This vital sector of our economy employs many residents across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Collins, Chair of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business. “As we continue our economic recovery, this is a critical tool for municipalities to be able to support their local restaurants. That’s what this measure aims to do”

The amendment will be debated next week during the State Senate’s annual budget debate.