New York City will provide relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19.

Open Storefronts Program

Sidewalk Sales
Mayor announces the Open Storefronts program to begin Friday 10/30/20 and applications are now available
The program allows eligible businesses to conduct activity on sidewalks directly in front of your business. Find the application, diagram, and FAQ here.
How can I apply and what is the cost?
  • The application is online and it takes around 5 minutes to apply. It is free to apply. You must know your EIN, basic information about your business, and measure the length and width of the sidewalk in front of your business.
  • If you have multiple businesses, you must apply for each address separately.
Your sidewalk must be at least 8 feet wide and your merchandise should be placed within 5 feet of the external wall of your building. (You can find the width of your sidewalk here but we don’t think this online map is always accurate. We suggest you refer to it if the map looks right but if it doesn’t look correct, we urge you to remeasure your sidewalk’s width yourself.)
Which businesses can participate?
Any ground floor storefront business predominantly involved in the sale of goods and/or services directly to the public. Includes businesses engaged in retail trade (i.e. clothing and equipment stores, retail food stores, health and personal care stores) as well as repair stores, personal care services, and dry-cleaning and laundry services.
Which activities are/are not allowed in Open Storefronts?
  • You can display and sell goods outside, use A-frame signs, place temporary seating, place collapsible umbrellas with weighted bases and tents (these must be brought inside at the end of each day), lighting (as long as it doesn’t blind shoppers and it complies with FDNY codes), etc. 
  • Not allowed: amplified sound or outdoor heaters, personal care services (hair cuts, etc.)
  • Please look at the full FAQ for more rules.
When will this be in effect? 
The program will start on Fri. 10/30/20 and run through Thurs. 12/31/20. Once your application is approved and starting 10/30/20, you can operate outdoors during your normal business hours within the following hours:
  • Mon. – Sat. 8am – 11pm
  • Sun. 10am – 11pm
I don’t understand or want to discuss what I want to do. Where do I go for answers?
You can call the SBS hotline (888-727-4692) or contact us at the BID directly with any questions.