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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: April 27, 2021

Mayor Brown Announces Important Updates to Buffalo’s Response to the Covid-19 Emergency 04-27-21

Seal of the City of Buffalo

Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced the City’s Small Business Social Distancing Initiative (SBSDI), launched last June, will continue from May 1 through November 15, 2021.

“This initiative was launched last summer to help businesses stay open during the pandemic by expanding into outdoor areas and create Covid-safe spaces,” Mayor Brown said. “Although indoor dining and shopping is now allowed, there are still limits on capacity. The initiative’s overwhelming success made it clear this is something we want to continue. We will also be reviewing how to make outdoor options a permanent part of doing business in Buffalo.”

Put in place on June 9, 2020, when restaurants, bars and most shops were closed to indoor patrons, the initiative offered a way to stay in business by creating and expanding onto sidewalks, streets and private property through mid-November. It was extended through April 30, 2021, as hardy customers and creative business owners embraced the outdoors through the winter and early spring.

Since the City of Buffalo began accepting SBSDI applications, businesses have been approved to expand operations outdoors on private land, sidewalks, and streets. The initiative has successfully assisted 44 businesses to expand outdoor dining and product display during one of the most challenging economic periods in recent memory.

To make the successes of the SBSDI program lasting and permanent, the Office of Strategic Planning is planning to evolve the initiative into a permanent Open Streets & Sidewalks Policy, helping speed the recovery for Buffalo’s small business community. During the extension period, the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning (OSP) will work together with the SBSDI Committee to develop permanent policy changes.

“SBSDI has been important for keeping small businesses open and operating during this unprecedented challenge. This extension will allow small businesses to operate under the continuing restrictions and also assist these businesses as they recover from the nation’s economic downturn,” Brendan Mehaffy, Executive Director, Office of Strategic Planning said. “Using their entrepreneurship and creativity, small businesses also demonstrated under SBSDI the increased vibrancy and livability that comes with emphasizing the outdoor and pedestrian experience in our commercial areas in Buffalo. As we begin to imagine our city after the pandemic, the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning will work with small businesses crafting a permanent policy expanding access to sidewalk and streets.”

Delaware District Common Council Member Joel Feroleto, who the Mayor appointed Chairman of the SBSDI working group, sponsored the ordinance amendment to extend the initiative which was approved the Buffalo Common Council today.

“It has been great working with Mayor Brown, his administration and the small businesses to create a very successful program. I hope businesses of all kinds take a look at how they could benefit from creating outdoor sales space,” Feroleto said.

The extension includes a couple of tweaks. It includes a new requirement for businesses to maintain more sidewalk clearance for pedestrians and allows businesses previously approved for SBSDI to submit a renewal to OSP.

First-time applicants can begin their application, starting May 1, 2021, by visiting: Reopen-Buffalo Participating businesses can renew their SBSDI approval by emailing any of these three staffers: tgriffis@,, or for further guidance.

Senior Connect Call Scheduled for Wednesday, April 28th

Deputy Mayor Ellen Grant and Co-Host Doug Ruffin, Director, Division of Senior Services will hold a Senior Connect Call, tomorrow, April 28th at 11 a.m.

The guest will be Dana Harris, the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency’s Communications Manager. The topic will be City’s new “STAND UP Buffalo” Program. The initiative offers direct assistance grants and programs that will allow residents and business owners to respond to the unique challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The call-in number is 1-888-636-3807, the passcode is 4777845#.

A Basket of Brunch for Mom from The Broadway Market

The Broadway Market has just what you need to celebrate Mother’s Day! The Market is offering a Mother’s Day Brunch Basket. The basic basket, priced at $45, includes:

  • Bacon, breakfast sausage and 1 dozen eggs from Camellia Meats and Lupas Meats
  • Braided bread and coffee cake from white eagle bakery
  • Red and green pepper plants from Lewandowski Produce
  • ½ dozen dessert pierogi from Babcia’s Pierogi
  • Kettlecorn from We R Nuts

For $20 more, you can add a dozen shrimp, cocktail sauce and 4 steaks.

Orders can be placed starting Monday, April 26th by visiting: All orders must be placed by May 5th. Basket pick-up will take place on Saturday, May 8th, from Noon – 4 p.m., at The Kitchen @ The Market.

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