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Team Better Block Helps Restaurants and Small Businesses in Norfolk, Virginia With OpenNorfolk

Team Better Block powered by WGI worked with the city of Norfolk and WPA Architects to provide rapid response to COVID-19.

Team Better Block powered by WGI worked with the City of Norfolk, Virginia and WPA architects to provide rapid response to COVID-19. Utilizing CARES Act funding, the City established a program for restaurants to move dining outside to allow for patrons to dine safely and at a safe distance. Over 300 businesses received assistance and now the program is expanding to assist with recreational opportunities for youth.

Norfolk TBB project

OpenNorfolk is a boots-on-the-ground community assistance program that is helping local businesses open safely under the governor’s Phase 1-3 guidelines. In phase 3, OpenNorfolk will continue to assist local businesses while focusing on neighborhoods and communities, aiming to fill needs for outdoor programming, safe places for families and kids, and community activation. The program will provide temporary, flexible neighborhood spots that ensure that the communities in which they are built can deliver their vision for a safe, healthy, educational summer pop-up park.

TBB Northfolk

WGI’s Director of Placemaking Andrew Howard helped design parklets to let businesses extend their sidewalk area quickly, for safe seating. In an interview with 13 News Now, Howard stated, “This is kind of an emergency response to get businesses back going. Instead of going through the long engineering process, let’s get out there and try some stuff, see what works for Norfolk.”

Norfolk TBB project

To learn more about OpenNorfolk and how to volunteer, visit their website. Also, check out this video about the success of the OpenNorfolk program below!

Are you a state or local government and need help administering CARES Act funding? WGI’s experts are ready to assist you expand business opportunities for restaurants, implement wider sidewalks, install new bike lanes, and create outdoor classrooms. Contact us today to speak with one of our team members.

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