SAN DIEGO — San Diego restaurant owners, one of the hardest hit during the coronavirus pandemic, are getting much-needed help from the state.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law three new bills Friday aimed at helping small business owners recover from COVID-19.
The new legislation includes allowing businesses to sell to-go alcohol beverages with food orders until 2026, giving business owners an opportunity to make their outdoor dining spaces permanent and continuing to allow the public to enjoy alcohol inside parklets.
Amy Consuelo, owner of the restaurant Crushed in Pacific Beach, said the pandemic affected revenue over the last year. Consuelo said she is happy the governor is allowing businesses impacted by the pandemic to continue to grow.
“People love to sit outside, they love the patio, and they love the street parking, so for however long we can keep that, that would be lovely,” Consuelo said.
Newsom said the innovative strategies have been a lifeline for hard-hit restaurants during the pandemic.
“We’re keeping the entrepreneurial spirit going so that businesses can continue to create exciting new opportunities and support vibrant neighborhoods across the state,” said Governor Newsom, who signed the legislation at an Oakland restaurant. “California will continue putting into practice the lessons learned over the pandemic to support our ongoing recovery and bolster our capacity to meet future challenges head-on.”
Newsom added the opportunities are a pathway for businesses to “make up for a lot of the constraints that have been imposed upon them over the course of the last 18 months.”
The new legislation will allow businesses to keep their outdoor dining spaces until 2024 or a year after the pandemic emergency order ends — whichever comes first.