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Alexandria proposes extending emergency business relief to June 30

Local businesses will have until the summer to enjoy the fruits of a temporary program that has allowed restaurants to provide curbside pickups, suspend regular operating hours and sell alcohol to-go.

City Council, on Saturday, will consider extending the temporary relief program to local businesses from April 1 to June 30, and expire along with the city’s state of emergency that same day.

The proposed extension would “provide restaurants and retailers the benefit of more time to submit applications for commercial parklets and construct the necessary decking for those who choose to continue use of on-street parking spaces,” city staff said in a report.

Additionally, on Tuesday, City Council approved a staff proposal to start charging annual rent to business owners for their use of parklets.

The following measures are now permanent, and would not be impacted by the new deadline:

Local gyms wouldn’t be able to provide their services in parklets anymore. The city said fitness-related businesses “did not actively participate in the temporary outdoor business expansion program,” and that the parklet program only allows for restaurants and retailers to provide services.

Alexandria’s state of emergency has been extended five times since it was first declared by Council in March 2020.