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Posted on: May 14, 2020

City of Norfolk Unveils OpenNorfolk

A small business assistance program taking the guesswork out of Virginia’s guidelines

NORFOLK, VA – The City of Norfolk unveils OpenNorfolk, a boots-on-the-ground small business assistance program that will ensure businesses throughout the city are able to open in a safe, physically-distanced manner and financially recover as quickly as possible. Visit www.norfolk.gov/OpenNorfolk for the toolkit and information.

OpenNorfolk will:

  • Provide clear guidance to small business owners and a toolkit to help them expand into either their own outdoor space (parking lots and yards) or in the public right-of-way (sidewalks, parking spaces, etc.) on pedestrian commercial corridors.
  • Provide hands-on assistance to business owners who would like a small team of people to help them move their own furniture, provide outdoor furnishings, or build them a parklet or other temporary furnishings for outdoor dining.

“We will continue to observe an abundance of caution as we take steps towards Norfolk’s economic recovery. OpenNorfolk is a targeted business assistance program that will provide guidance for our businesses to resume operations in a safe manner that respects physical distance. I strongly encourage our small businesses to access guidelines and resources at www.norfolk.gov/opennorfolk. Let’s remain considerate of our health and the health of our families and communities,” said Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander.

To accomplish this program, the city is utilizing its Urban Design contract team and partnering with Andrew Howard, a national expert in tactical urbanism, and the founder of Team Better Block. OpenNorfolk prioritizes equity throughout the city, engaging with Neighborhood Development and Public Safety to identify any commercial corridors or small businesses that could use help. If a small business is in need of assistance, email opennorfolk@wparch.com

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