Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin recently joined with dozens of elected officials, local restaurant owners and Chambers of Commerce Presidents from throughout Nassau County in urging New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to include outdoor restaurant dining in Phase II of his reopening plans-a milestone expected to be reached this week. While Connecticut has authorized outdoor dining to resume, Long Island restaurants are restricted to takeout and delivery.
Saladino stated, “We achieved the goal of flattening the curve, made tremendous progress in battling COVID-19 and our residents have proven they know how to socially distance effectively. With the right safety protocols in place, steps can be taken now to immediately boost the economy and restore jobs. Outdoor dining should be included in Phase II of the Governor’s reopening plan–a milestone Nassau County will reach this week.”
In March, Long Island downtowns were bustling with business and economic activity. Restaurants and small businesses were booming, and empty storefronts were a thing of the past. Unemployment was at record lows and the stock market was at record highs. Since then, the region has entered an unprecedented economic crisis. With unemployment reaching 16 percent on Long Island and safety protocols easily achievable, the supervisors of New York’s two largest townships urged Cuomo to take immediate action to include this critical sector of the economy in Phase II of his reopening plan.
Clavin stated, “Long Island’s restaurant owners have followed all of the rules and guidelines associated with flattening the curve and helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and they deserve clear, concise instructions from government on when and how they can re-open their businesses. Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino and I have confidence in our local restauranteurs to provide safe, outdoor dining services to the community, and we call on state officials to green-light this initiative as part of ‘Phase 2.’”
Saladino added, “While certain safety precautions will be necessary, such as limiting capacity, requiring workers to wear masks and enforcing social distancing, it can be done. It’s critical to help small businesses and get people back to work. Small businesses, and specifically the restaurant industry, are the heartbeat of our local economy. We must get them back to work now-not in Phase 3 which is more than a month away,”
Submitted by the Town of Oyster Bay