With spring here and summer coming, diners should still have chances to eat outdoors.
In Cumberland, the issue came up at a meeting on March 28, as council received March 16 correspondence sent to municipal governments about reducing red tape for the hospitality sector, especially by extending allowances for patio dining, as a means to aid economic recovery. It was sent on behalf of various provincial associations for businesses that provide food and drink service.
Cumberland economic development officer Kaelin Chambers talked to council about a number of recommendations within the letter, but added that the village was already on its way in terms of simplifying processes for local businesses applying to set up patios to help bring in business during the pandemic.
“I would say we have very little red tape,” he said. “We’ve kind of removed some of that red tape.”
Last spring, council discussed measures that could encourage more outdoor dining opportunities in the downtown, especially during the summer months.
Chambers noted there are only a small number of patios in the village at present, but for some large communities the challenges around getting permits for patio dining have been greater.
“The urban centres are having some issues,” he said.
Coun. Vickey Brown asked if the village could refer the letter back to the Cumberland Business Association for comment. Chambers responded that he could contact the CBA about issues around patios for the future.
“We’re happy to start those conversations,” he said.
Province-wide, the B.C. government extended the program on April 7 for businesses to operate temporary patio service. It had been set to expire on June 1, but for businesses currently approved, this will now run through March 31, 2023.