The City of Amesbury and the Business Economic Adjustment Team (BEAT) have been working closely with Amesbury’s businesses to support their re-opening as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has moved into Phase 2. Below are the initiatives and approvals that have been given.
Outdoor Dining and Extended Liquor License Permits
On Friday, June 12th, the Liquor License Commission held a public meeting to discuss applications from Amesbury businesses to temporarily add outdoor dining space and extend their existing liquor permits to these outdoor spaces. The following restaurants had their outdoor dining applications approved:
- Amesbury Golf & Country Lounge
- BareWolf Brewing
- Barking Dog Bar & Grill
- The Barn Pub & Grille
- Blue Moon Kitchen and Bar
- Brewery Silvaticus (their outdoor space that currently exists next to the building can open immediately, and their plans to take over two parking spaces on Water Street is approved by the Liquor License Commission pending approval from the Traffic and Transportation Committee, which will meet on Tuesday, July 7th at 7PM)
- The COOP Rotisserie
- Crave Brasserie & Wine Bar
- Amesbury Flatbread Company
- Fortune Bar (currently approved for 2 tables on the sidewalk, and their plans to take over two parking spaces on Friend Street is approved by the Liquor License Commission pending approval from the Traffic and Transportation Committee)
- Grande Mexico
- Market Square Bakehouse
- The Morning Buzz Café
- 99 Restaurant Amesbury
- Yang Ming II
Creating Space for Outdoor Dining and Communal Dining
DPW placed concrete jersey barriers around downtown to accommodate the new outdoor dining spaces for restaurants, and for more communal dining areas. We are working on a map to be able to share with residents and businesses showcasing these changes and where the communal dining areas will be.
The barriers have been placed at;
- The Morning Buzz, blocking 5 parking spaces in the Friend Street Parking Lot to accommodate more outdoor seating.
- Next to the Barking Dog, in one entrance of the Friend Street Parking Lot. The Friend Street Parking Lot has two entrances / exits, and the entrance / exit next to The Barking Dog is now exit only to accommodate a new pedestrian walkway. Drivers should enter the Friend Street Parking Lot at the entrance just beyond The Morning Buzz, and exit there or next to The Barking Dog.
- Closing down Ring Street to accommodate outdoor tables for The Barn. Drivers will be able to utilize the horseshoe driveway in front of Crave, but will not be able to exit the Water Street Parking Garage onto Elm Street via Ring Street. Drivers will need to enter and exit the Water Street Parking Garage via Water Street.
- Creating a Main Street Parklet in front of China Star / Ima Cake Bakery. Two parking spots have been transformed into a parklet with communal dining to accommodate the food establishments in that area that provide to-go options.
Other communal dining spaces:
- 6 tables placed in the Amphitheatre
- 2 tables in the Main Street Parklet
- 2 tables placed in Market Square
- 2 tables placed in the chess board park on Elm Street
Adding More 15 Minute Temporary Parking Spots for Curbside Pickup
We are adding thirteen (13) more 15 Minute Parking spots downtown along Main Street to support the restaurants and retailers who continue to offer take-out and curbside pickup options. We have received feedback from many businesses who said that these short-term parking spots are incredibly helpful to keep people moving and allow their customers easy access to their establishments for quick visits. We ask that businesses inform their employees and customers about these spaces to plan accordingly.
Applied for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds to Help Businesses
In partnership with the City of Newburyport, we have applied for $800,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds which, if received, will be available to microbusinesses (fewer than 5 employees) in Amesbury and Newburyport. Businesses will be able to apply for funds which can be used for operating expenses (payroll, rent/mortgage) or to secure the services of a Technical Assistance Provider (legal, accounting, marketing).
We are currently waiting to hear if the CDBG application was approved, and then will quickly share an application for businesses to apply for funds. The Office of Community and Economic Development held a public hearing on May 29th to share information about this grant process and answer questions from our business community.
Providing Resources, Training and Focus Group Discussions
We have a Back to Business hub on the City website which shares information, resources and guidance for businesses who are re-opening. Businesses can sign up for the new Business E-Newsletter, which is sent once per week with updated information, as well as join the Back to Business Facebook Group where resources are posted daily.
In partnership with Amesbury Community Television, David Mather from the Amesbury Fire Department recorded a helpful training video for employers who are bringing employees back to work, and includes helpful safety protocol information to keep employees healthy.
The Business Economic Adjustment Team (BEAT) members are leading industry-specific group discussions with Amesbury businesses to network, answer questions, and share best practices and advice. Businesses who would like to join these discussions can email [email protected] to be added to the list.