Senator Helming Calls For Phase 3 Reopening Guidance And For Outdoor Dining To Resume Immediately

GENEVA, NY - Senator Pam Helming today called for New York State agencies to provide advance guidance for businesses and organizations that are scheduled to reopen under Phase 3. Citing numerous calls from local government leaders and small business owners, Senator Helming also called for the immediate outdoor seating and dining for restaurants and craft beverage producers throughout the Wayne Finger Lakes region.

Last week, with less than 24 hours before the Finger Lakes Region was set to begin Phase 2 of its reopening, there was little direction or guidance from the State as to whether businesses could move forward with their reopening plans. This uncertainty continued when on Sunday, the Governor advised dental offices that they could resume operations the following day. 

“Businesses need to reopen and they need to be able to plan to reopen safely. Beauticians and barbers need to book appointments in advance, stores need to buy supplies in advance, employees need to know when they should plan to return to work in advance. The Governor and our state agencies need to provide guidance for the next phase immediately so that our businesses can safely reopen and resume their operations. Planning is the success of any endeavor and this is no different. Now, more than ever our small businesses owners and their employees are looking for certainty, clarity and some common sense,” said Senator Helming

Senator Helming continued, “We must also allow our restaurants and tasting rooms to make social distancing adjustments and resume outdoor service. Drive past any grocery store, big box home improvement store, or garden center and you will see packed parking lots and hordes of people inside shopping.  Yet, restaurants are forbidden to allow a family to sit down at an outdoor table and enjoy a meal together and craft beverage producers are forbidden from offering tastings. Mandated to close their doors to diners and visitors back in March, some of our locally owned restaurants and craft beverage tasting rooms adapted by offering take-out service.  But for many restaurant owners and craft beverage producers, especially those located in our rural communities, offering take-out service was not a viable option. With the traditionally busy summer season now upon us, these businesses find themselves at a crossroads.  In order to survive another year, they must be allowed to safely re-open.

As we continue reopening and monitoring the numbers, we must do everything we can to help all of our small businesses. Restaurants, craft beverage producers and their employees are hurting right now and we should be partnering with them to get things safely reopened.”