The city of Riverside Thursday announced it has expanded a program that allows some businesses affected by the coronavirus lockdown to operate in outdoor spaces, including streets and sidewalks.
The Temporary Outdoor Flex Space Program was initially set up to help restaurants stay open during the pandemic but will now be open to retail and service businesses deemed "lower-risk workplaces" by the state's reopening guidelines, according to Phil Pitchford, a spokesman for the city.
"This innovative approach will help our local businesses stay open with a minimum amount of red tape," Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey said. "Our restaurants have embraced this approach, which holds great promise for retail and service businesses as well."
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Businesses can apply for a flex space permit for free and in most cases, can begin operating outdoors immediately if they plan to use private land.
If a business plans to use a public right-of-way, an inspection is required before operations can begin on those spaces, Pitchford said.
Permits are good for 90 days, though they may be extended if the lockdown continues beyond that.
More information can be found at www.riversideca.gov/press/covid-19-business-resources.