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Outdoor licensing fees scrapped in a bid to help local businesses reopen

Licensing fees for temporary applications to use outside space have been waived in Manchester

It is hoped that the move will help to reassure customers that they can visit local businesses safely and social distancing measures can still be adhered to.

Alongside the fee waiver, a simplified online application process has been put in place to allow local businesses to apply for the outdoor seating space. More than 30 businesses have already applied in preparation for the 4th of July re-openings. 

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar of the Manchester City Council, said: “This will be a change for many people but we are glad to be playing our part to support a valued part of Manchester’s economy.”

Businesses who might have struggled to stay afloat could be saved by increasing their covers to a sustainable level through outdoor means. Manchester Council stated that it would do it’s best to find suitable arrangements to support local businesses as best as it could during these times. 

Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport Angeliki Stogia said: “Manchester’s vibrant and diverse retail and hospitality sector not only plays a pivotal role in the cultural heartbeat of our city, it also makes an enormous contribution to our economy as it employs many local people. It’s also a cornerstone of contemporary Mancunian life, where families and friends gather to eat, drink and meet.”

Manchester City Council’s City Centre spokesperson Pat Karney added: “You’ll see more signage as a reminder to keep your distance, some roads have already been pedestrianised and we’ll see more outdoor seating as well. This is all to reassure you that if you need to be in town, you are safe.

“Manchester may look a little different in the coming months, but it will still be the city that you know and love.”

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