Business Re-Opening Information & Guide

We are pleased to announce that after careful consideration and evaluation of the science-based facts by Mayor Gimenez, the Governor and our own Mayor and City Commission, that all Retail, Personal Services, Salons and Museums will be permitted to reopen effective Wednesday, May 20th subject to their following specific guidelines which will be released later today. The city has further committed to sending city personnel to visit each shop to assist them by providing the guidance necessary for their specific reopening.  

Restaurants and sidewalk cafes will be permitted to reopen on Wednesday, May 27th as long as they follow the specific guidelines for their establishments that will be released later today as well. 

In addition, Lincoln Road was opened up for walking purposes only on May 13, 2020. The City has installed social distancing markers, appropriate signage encouraging those who are sick to stay away and reminding pedestrians to maintain their distance. City staff will resume daily pressure washing operations to ensure a clean space after many weeks of being closed. Ocean Drive, Washington Avenue, and other streets in North Beach are also going to open for walking and exercise purposes as well. 

Please review below for details on several Commission agenda items:  

1) To temporarily relax Planning & Zoning requirements for outdoor restaurants and businesses to facilitate reopening and expanding their outdoor footprint on streets and parking lots. This Program will temporarily allow restaurants to expand sidewalk café seating areas onto public rights-of-way, or other outdoor seating areas on private property, subject to the Administration’s review and approval of the proposed site plan for the expanded area(s) to ensure public safety and public access issues are maintained.

 2) To re-purpose our Community Development Block Grant and other funds for a rental & mortgage assistance program and a small business assistance program. This program will provide assistance to qualifying Miami Beach residents who are in danger of becoming homeless due to their inability to pay their monthly rent. Assistance will include up to three months of rent payable to the landlord upon verification of eligibility and financial position. In addition, the small business program will provide assistance to small businesses (6-12 employees) impacted by COVID-19 in the form of a forgivable loan. A business may receive up to $10,000 to pay for normal business expenses. The business must be able to retain at least one job for a low to moderate-income resident employee for a one-year period.

3) Approving a food distribution program for the benefit of vulnerable residents impacted by COVID-19. This program will provide food assistance for up to 600 households for a period of up to four months. The City will establish weekly food distributions in North Beach (North Shore Youth Center) and South Beach (Police Athletic League Building) as many of these households do not have cars and have been unable to participate in drive-thru distributions. The City will provide sufficient food to feed all members of registered households for one week with shelf-stable items (including protein, cereal, bread) and fresh produce. The cost of these packages is estimated at $73 per family of four and is being supplied through multiple vendors as bulk quantities are difficult to obtain in the marketplace under current conditions. Kosher and non-kosher packages will be provided as appropriate.

Although all of these are exciting developments, we must not let our guard down now. As Dr. Anthony Fauci stated recently at a Senate Committee, “There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control, which in fact, paradoxically, will set you back, not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided but could even set you back on the road to try to get economic recovery.” I encourage all of us to continue to social distance and follow the Miami-Dade County rules and CDC guidelines. We must work together to ensure we continue to move forward towards the complete re-opening of our city. 

Special Resources Business Re-Opening Chamber Members

10 Considerations for Implementing Back-to-Work Programs Following
COVID-19 from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

You can read that specific article here or view all of our COVID resources and thought leadership here.