By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The Dearborn Farmers and Artisans Market reopened to serve its customers July 10 while other businesses in the east and west downtowns have made adjustments to reopen while following guidelines set due to the COIVD-19 pandemic.
Visitors to the famers market are encouraged to wear a mask, which will be provided along with hand sanitizer at the information tent. The market entrance is on the Mason Street side and the exit is on the Monroe Street side.
No gloves are allowed to be worn within the market area and no food sampling or demonstrations are permitted. Vendors are required to sanitize their spaces repeatedly during market hours with a no-touch, no-point system enforced.
The market will remain open from 2 to 7 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 25 on West Village Drive between Mason and Monroe streets.
Vendors include Albustan Foods, Dragonfly Jewels, Hey Honey, Miragez Wonderz, Rose Best Body Care Products, Timeless Boutique and Zenic Crumble.
Yoga Shala joined the vendors this year offering a free 45-minute session at 4:45 p.m. with social distancing practices in place.
As for businesses in the downtowns, outdoor seating became more available as restaurants reopened. Also, 15-minute parking plus curbside pickup for those who place takeout orders was implemented to better service customers.
Indoor capacity for restaurants was reduced from 50 percent to 10 people maximum after the governor’s executive order July 29, but the city last month made it easier for businesses to apply to add outdoor seating by using either sidewalks or private property.
“In response, the city, under the direction of Mayor John O’Reilly Jr., and with support from the city council, has streamlined the application process and waived permitting fees for restaurants and businesses to use outdoor spaces to accommodate more customers,” a city press release said. “Zoning requirements also have been relaxed to allow for this enhancement.”
Businesses also will be expanding onto streets, alleys, private and public properties in the next few weeks to increase business capacity and services to accommodate customers and provide for social distancing.
Fees are waived for the additional outdoor seating, but a permit is still required from the city.
Movies in the Park will take place at Wagner Park and City Hall Park from 8:30 to 11 p.m. Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28.
“A Dog’s Purpose” and “Sonic The Hedgehog” will be shown at Wagner Park on Aug. 7 and 21, respectively, with “Toy Story 4” and “Godzilla” at City Hall Park on Aug. 14 and 28, respectively.
Due to the current social distancing rules, the amount of adults and children will be limited with designated spots where families can bring a lawn chair or blanket to watch movies.
The Dearborn Business Assistance Team is a program spearheaded by the Dearborn Downtown Development Authorities which features over 25 local agencies and resource representatives to provide up-to-date information on current small businesses development recourses on the city, county and state levels.
“Downtown Dearborn has developed strategies to address and fulfill the small business concerns and needs to guide business owners through the COVID-19 pandemic over the next several months, as well as setting businesses up for long-term success,” the Downtown Dearborn website said.
The program includes special COVID-19 funding, business technical support and one-on-one meetings with businesses and a new internship program through University of Michigan-Dearborn created by Downtown Dearborn that would offer small businesses a pool of either paid or unpaid students with business and marketing background to gain staff support over the semester months.
For more information on Downtown Dearborn events, businesses or programs go to downtowndearborn.org.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])