Starting this week, businesses can apply for an expansion of premises permit at no charge. This permit allows businesses to expand into the right of way, their parking lots or other spaces with the appropriate permissions. City staff is expediting review of these applications to ensure the safety of our community and first responders while providing businesses more room to serve customers. Businesses can also use 12 x 12 pop-up tents.
“We know that this has been a particularly difficult time for our neighborhood businesses, and we appreciate everything that they are doing to keep our community healthy and safe,” Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said. “From closing fitting rooms and taking out restaurant tables to ensure physical distancing to implementing additional hygiene standards, our businesses have been quick to adapt for the benefit of all of us. Now, as a city, it’s our turn to do more to help them.”
Some Tempe restaurants have removed more than a third of their seating. Some retail shops have taken out racks of goods to accommodate spacing at cash registers. This expedited permit process is an important step toward helping them survive and thrive.
Other ways that Tempe is helping businesses:
- Waiving the required permit for banner signage
- Offering free, one-hour, on-street metered parking in downtown Tempe in partnership with Downtown Tempe Authority
- Offering low interest small business emergency loans in partnership with Desert Financial Credit Union
- Providing a support voucher program for neighborhood businesses through Tempe-based Hownd to help businesses earn sales now when they need them most
- Enacting temporary one-year extensions to a variety of permits needed for developers and businesses
- Hosting free business webinars on topics most important to local businesses – the next one on cash management is on June 3.
- Spotlighting neighborhood businesses on social media and in newsletters to help residents remember their favorite places and find local options for goods and services
“It is the role of the city to help our businesses safely serve our residents, workforce and visitors. Businesses have the responsibility to keep their customers – and everyone they will come into contact with – safe and healthy. Their strict adherence to the state guidelines now is vitally important to our well-being and can help prevent future closures,” Mayor Mitchell said. “Our businesses not only want to ensure that you are safe while you are patronizing them, but that their employees remain healthy and able to serve you. The people who work at our local businesses are often your friends and neighbors. It is my continued hope that residents will support their favorite neighborhood businesses in safe and responsible ways.”
Not all Tempe businesses are open yet. It is up to each individual business to determine when they feel ready to reopen and if they want to go beyond the state requirements for health and safety. Some businesses may require customers to wear masks or form lines outside their establishments to ensure adequate distancing. The City of Tempe asks that you respect these decisions.
Residents are advised to follow CDC guidelines for preventing COVID-19. These include keeping the physical distance, wearing a mask in public places, washing your hands frequently and more. These small efforts can save lives and prevent future closures.
Visit the City of Tempe coronavirus website for details on what Tempe is doing to help everyone through the crisis, read all the emergency proclamations and more.