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City to Offer Business Reopening Assistance

As California begins to reopen its economy statewide as the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, the City of Bakersfield wants to help local businesses that are looking for creative ways to reopen and provide services to the public while also limiting any public health risks.

On Wednesday, May 20, the Bakersfield City Council approved, by a 7-0 vote, an amendment to the City’s Special Event Permit process to help businesses comply with the state’s mandated social distancing requirements for reopening in Stage 2 of the state’s reopening plan.

The City has created a process for business owners to apply for a permit to temporarily close private parking lots throughout the City, or public streets and sidewalks in Downtown Bakersfield in order to allow businesses to set up outdoor dining seating and/or retail vending areas each day.

The City’s Special Event Permit process has been amended to include a new “COVID-19 Special Event Permit,” which will allow the temporary closure of streets, sidewalks and parking lots on private property to be used for dining and vending space. This is made possible through the City’s Emergency Declaration, issued on March 19, 2020. The COVID-19 Special Event Permit will be available throughout the duration of the Emergency Declaration.

Businesses wishing to take advantage of this assistance can apply for the permit here and by following the steps and safety criteria outlined in the accompanying document in the PDF linked below.

( View PDF )