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City partially closing two streets this weekend to help local businesses

Post Date:05/20/2020 1:31 PM

Contact:  Jason Bartolone, Communications Specialist   941-928-3988; jason.bartolone@sarasotafl.gov

  

COVID_19_UpdateSarasota, FL:  The City of Sarasota will facilitate two experimental partial street closures downtown this weekend in order to assist local businesses in the economic recovery from COVID-19.

The closures will begin at 4 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, May 22-23, and all day Sunday and Monday, May 24-25, in the 1300 block of Main Street (Palm Avenue to Miramar Court) and on State Street from the State Street Garage to Lemon Avenue.

The City is also seeking vendors interested in selling or giving away protective masks at Main Street/Palm Avenue and Main Street/Lemon Avenue this weekend during the street closures, as well as at designated areas at Lido Beach and Bayfront Park. Interested parties should contact Purchasing General Manager David Boswell at 941-263-6448 or Interim Development Services Director Gretchen Schneider at 941-263-6590 for more details.

Citizens are advised to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for safe social distancing in public to help stop the spread of COVID-19. City residents are also strongly urged to wear protective masks when leaving home under the City’s local public health emergency declaration. Signage will be in place at both partial street closures reminding residents and visitors about safe social distancing practices.

The City has already made several efforts to aid local restaurants and businesses with a speedy reopening and recovery, including waiving building permit fees for improvements to adapt to health concerns; temporarily relaxing the zoning code to encourage and facilitate outdoor dining; and creating a new no-fee, temporary outdoor café permit that allows for expanded outdoor seating.

“We’re doing everything we can to help our local business community quickly get back on its feet and adapt to these unprecedented challenges,” said City Manager Tom Barwin. “We’re taking the opportunity to experiment with street closures, and we encourage the public to shop and dine locally and enjoy our beautiful downtown in a safe and responsible way this holiday weekend.”

Additional resources

Applications are now being accepted for the City of Sarasota’s COVID-19 Small Business and Safety Assistance Grant Program Information can be found online at www.SarasotaFL.gov/business-resources/CitySmallBusinessGrant. For questions or more information, email CitySmallBusinessGrant@sarasotaFL.gov.

A Sarasota-specific call center for questions and concerns about COVID-19 is now available through the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County:  941-861-2883. Subject matter experts are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The most current, official information on COVID-19 in Florida can be found at www.FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19.  A 24/7 hotline is also available:  1-866-779-6121.

For more information, contact Jason Bartolone, Communications Specialist:  941-928-3988.

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About the City of Sarasota:  Distinguished by U.S. News and World Report as the 18th Best Place to Live in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 56,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles.  Learn more about us at www.SarasotaFL.Gov

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