Salt Lake City

Mayor's Office

Erin Mendenhall | (801) 535-7704 |

Mayor Mendenhall signs Emergency Proclamation allowing Businesses to Expand Operations during Winter Months

SALT LAKE CITY — As cold temperatures and winter weather arrives, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall has signed Emergency Proclamation 17 giving businesses within the City tools to expand their outdoor operating capacity.

The proclamation eases permitting restrictions regarding the use of temporary structures both on private property and in the public right of way. It also waives permitting for temporary structures under 200 square feet.

This will have an immediate impact on businesses where indoor capacity is reduced due to statewide COVID-19 health and safety regulations.

The proclamation applies to any retail or restaurant activity, including retail sales, retail services, and outdoor dining.

“We want to ensure businesses have the ability to maximize their revenue while also creating a safe environment for our residents and visitors,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “It has been an incredibly difficult year for many businesses, especially small businesses and food and beverage establishments, and we want to do everything we can to assist by expanding their options to do business.”

Due to COVID-19, Salt Lake City restaurants, pubs and bars saw a 70% year over year loss in April of 2020. 

While many food services and drinking businesses have been able to innovate with their operations and regulations have been more flexible for the industry, the year over year losses remain at 39% as of September 2020.

“These updated provisions enable expanded outdoor dining to help restaurants serve patrons safely this winter,” said Dee Brewer, Executive Director of the Downtown Alliance. “Long term, they will also foster some pretty cool outdoor dining environments–similar to what you might find in Europe–to attract and delight local and visiting diners to Salt Lake City.”

The Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development team will serve as liaisons for businesses wishing to expand their outdoor capacity by assisting them through the permitting process, if needed.

“Main Street businesses reported a significant increase of activity during the Open Streets initiative in the fall, with some reporting pre-pandemic revenues during the activation,” said Ben Kolendar, Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development. “I believe this is an appropriate expansion of how businesses can boost capacity while also keeping public health and safety top of mind.”

For more information on how to apply for temporary permits, contact the Economic Development team at


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