LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Due to economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant business owners in the City of Laurel will now be allowed to provide outdoor seating.
Laurel City Council members motioned to adopt the ordinance in Tuesday’s meeting and hope this will help many businesses.
“It’s mostly downtown, but if you have a restaurant somewhere else you can also set up in the street, set up on the sidewalks and it’s because some people are not comfortable being inside eating,” Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee said. “So, you can have the opportunity to eat outside in the fresh air and it may be a little warm right now, but it gives the restaurants an opportunity to have customers on the outside.”
According to the ordinance, this does not apply to businesses that are located on a major thoroughfare.
Businesses that decide to provide outdoor seating should maintain a minimum of 4 feet of the unobstructed walkway for pedestrian traffic and ensure all seating is removed at the time of closing.
The ordinance goes into effect Tuesday, July 21.