Executive Order allows hundreds of businesses to move operations outside following State restrictions on indoor activities due to Covid-19

City of San Diego logoContinuing efforts to provide relief to San Diego small businesses amid the global pandemic, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer signed an executive order Monday expanding outdoor options for hundreds of businesses and places of worship following state restrictions on indoor operations.

As public health experts continue to promote outdoor settings and physical distancing as two key tools to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the Mayor’s executive order allows businesses – including gyms, churches, barbershops and nail salons – to expand their operations into private parking lots effective immediately. Today’s action will be followed by an ordinance further expanding outdoor options for those businesses to include sidewalks and on-street parking, pending a City Council vote in the coming weeks.

“Right now we need to give our small businesses every tool possible to get through this difficult time or they might shut down for good,” Mayor Faulconer said. “By allowing more and more businesses to operate outdoors, we are delivering solutions to help San Diego’s small businesses get to the other side of this pandemic while putting thousands of San Diegans back to work safely and responsibly with proper physical distancing.”

Joined by City Councilmember Chris Cate, Mayor Faulconer announced the decision at a local community gym – Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society – to showcase a business with plans to successfully operate in a private parking lot. Last week, Mayor Faulconer and Councilmember Cate co-signed a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom calling for outdoor solutions for barbershops and salons.

“Mayor Faulconer’s executive order will allow organizations such as Three Treasures to bring their martial arts, physical fitness, and programs alike, outside. Creative solutions like this will help businesses get back up and running in a safe manner. Employees can return to work and families can again participate in programs, if they so desire,” said Councilmember Cate, Chair of the Council’s Economic Development & Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

“The continuing restrictions on indoor activities due to COVID-19 require creative approaches and ‘out of the box’ thinking to find ways to assist San Diego’s struggling businesses,” said Bari Vaz, President of the Mira Mesa Chamber of Commerce. “This proposal will provide the same opportunity for relief to non-food businesses that the recent program to streamline outdoor dining provided to our restaurants.”

Monday’s executive order is the latest step by Mayor Faulconer to provide relief for small businesses. The City has made over $20 million in loans and grants available to assist small businesses and, last week, the City Council unanimously adopted Mayor Faulconer’s plan to allow restaurants and retail shops to expand outside onto sidewalks, parking lots and on-street parking.

Here’s what the Mayor’s executive order will do:

  • Limits enforcement of parking regulations for the following businesses so they can operation in private parking lots:
    • Personal services: hair salons, barbershops, nail salons
    • Gyms, physical fitness centers, and instructional studios
    • Places of religious assembly
  • Limits enforcement of the San Diego Municipal Code for the above mentioned industries so they can operate outdoors in the City of San Diego

Personal services such as hair salons, barbershops and nail salons are licensed under the state of California. The state is expected to amend state regulations to allow outdoor operations for those businesses as soon as today. The Mayor’s executive order will allow that change to go into effect immediately for San Diego’s businesses.

For information regarding economic relief for San Diegans and their businesses, please visit sandiego.gov/coronavirus.