Under Phase 2 reopening in New York State, restaurants are able to serve customers and be opened with outdoor seating only. They still must follow stringent guidelines and policies when it comes to keeping patrons safe.

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon assisted local businesses with a change in the rules to allow for a larger influx of revenue. Buttenschon released a statement Thursday touting a letter she wrote to State Liquor Authority Chair Vincent Bradley back on May 4th.

Buttenschon says,

Small businesses across the state have been affected by COVID-19 shutdowns, and restaurants and bars are no different. "Hardworking business owners, who were forced to close under no fault of their own, should be given latitude to adjust their premises and business models during the reopening process. This critical change will help our beloved local restaurants and bars get back on their feet as we navigate these uncertain times together.

It was back in March National, state and local leaders shutdown the economy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and in an effort to make sure the hospital systems were not overwhelmed. Now, as reopening occurs, local businesses are picking up the pieces. Thursday was the first day any local restaurant did something other than takeout.

One of the other requests made by Buttenschon in her May 4th letter was the SLA refund or significantly reduce the cost of liquor licensing until the final phases of reopening. Buttenschon says, "By allowing restaurants to serve alcohol in outdoor dining spaces, this necessary change will ensure restaurants can open in compliance with Phase 2 guidelines and begin to make ends meet, Buttenschon noted."

If everything holds steady, New York State will be looking to enter Phase 3 of reopening in a little more than one week.