WGI’s Lisa Nisenson was featured on the American Planning Association’s podcast to discuss rapidly changing e-commerce trends and technologies, and the long-term implications of COVID-19 on the way planners are thinking about the future.
Helping Businesses Adapt to COVID-19 by Using CARES Act Funding
We recently teamed up with the City of Farmers Branch, TX to provide outdoor patio seating for two local restaurants. The patio spaces allowed the restaurants to increase their capacity and welcome more guests. Funding was provided through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grants.
Cuquita’s Restaurant was one of the first businesses in Farmers Branch to take advantage of CARES funding to set up a temporary outdoor area, or “parklet.” The parklet was designed to give patrons the space they need amid the occupancy restrictions that have been implemented. Neuvo Leon Mex-Mex Restaurant was also able to use the program to install a parklet patio in the place of five parking spaces.
Our staff has worked with several local business owners, who are willing to sacrifice parking spaces if it means they can create new outdoor dining spaces to welcome their guests. One of the positive things to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is the focus on gathering spaces.
Elizabeth Villafranca, owner of Cuquita’s Restaurant, said that having additional space for patrons outdoors would have a positive impact on the restaurant’s bottom line.
“The patio installed is going to be a huge, huge help for us that will really help increase our business.” – Elizabeth Villafranca, Cuquita’s Restaurant
The temporary outdoor furnishings, in this case, are occupying what used to be about seven parking spaces directly in front of the restaurant, with red paint on the surface, offset by white design stamps, umbrellas, and shade sails above the socially-spaced tables and woodwork, with some greenery, defining the border.
The City of Farmers Branch expects that more parklets will be installed at other restaurants and businesses in the coming weeks and months. Mayor Robert Dye is looking forward to more restaurants building outdoor spaces for customers to enjoy.
“If this patio succeeds, they’re going to succeed at a lot of our other restaurants in the community of Farmers Branch. I think that is a blessing for our entire community.” – Robert Dye, Farmers Branch Mayor
Are you a state or local government and need help administering CARES Act funding? WGI’s experts are ready to assist you to 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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