Program allows for Sterling Heights businesses to expand services outdoors, growing business safely and in compliance with social distancing measures.
As businesses begin to reopen, their ability to adapt may be critically important to their long-term viability and survival. The City of Sterling Heights is helping out in their own way through the launch of a new program designed to support local businesses that fall under recent COVID-related restrictions. Through the Turn Sterling Heights Inside Out program, existing businesses within Sterling Heights may provide the same services and goods to patrons they normally provide inside, now outside in accordance with the standards set forth in the newly approved Inside Out Self Evaluation Form and Conditions.
The City is also relaxing the review process, expediting approvals and significantly reducing the application fee for businesses that would like to expand their existing operations to the outdoors from now through September 30, 2020. An existing business owner simply provides a drawing and/or pictures of the proposed outdoor sales and service area, fills out the application package and submits the information electronically to the City. The City will review the application within three days and schedule the appropriate inspections.
“In these difficult times, we know retailers, restaurants and other affected businesses are champing at the bit to get back to full capacity,” said Luke Bonner, Sterling Heights senior economic development advisor. “For many of them, their business is their life or their family, not just a job. Commercial businesses make up our community character, and we need to support them in new ways. The Inside Out program is allowing them to engage their customers in new and exciting ways that may not have been possible before. We are really excited to support our businesses.”
“I appreciate the City for thinking outside of the box to provide outside seating. Businesses will benefit from making up for lost seating inside due to recent guidelines,” said Pashko Ujkaj, owner of Dodge Park Coney Island. “Offering this program will make it easier for business owners to get through these challenging times.”
Outdoor services will provide safe alternatives to traditional service delivery models. So long as appropriate safeguards are in place, the Inside Out program offers a simple way the City can assist businesses in the short-term with their recovery from the emergency closures.
"As a City, it is important that we can continue to adapt and provide resources that will better serve our community and businesses. The Inside Out program will allow local businesses the opportunity to operate under new guidelines while enhancing their ability to meet customer demand as well as stimulate the local economy,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor.
For more information or to apply for a permit as part of this new program, visit www.sterling-heights.net/insideout.