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COVID-19 Assistance for Business

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Town Table Outdoor Dining

On June 15, 2020, in conjunction with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 150, the Borough of Highland Park will close So. Third Avenue from Raritan Avenue to the municipal parking lot entrance to create a shared outdoor dining space known as the “Town Table”. The Town Table is a partnership of Main Street Highland Park and the Borough and is being offered to support local restaurants that lack the outdoor space to accommodate outdoor dining. The Borough may expand the Town Table to other blocks based on demand.

Town Table guidelines are available below. 

Sidewalk Cafes & Retail Displays

To help businesses expand their capacity in response to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, the Borough is making it easier to set up sidewalk cafes, outdoor dining and retail displays downtown. All are allowed, provided they meet the basic guidelines (below) set forth by the Borough and Main Street Highland Park. Sidewalk café permits are free and can be found here. Permits will remain in effect until December 31, 2020.

Sidewalk café and retail display guidelines are available below.

Click here to apply for a sidewalk café permit.

Don’t have enough space for a sidewalk café or retail display?

Businesses are encouraged to work with neighboring properties to expand in front of adjacent storefronts, if the space is not being used. Permission from the property owner must be granted before such expansion can take place.

Need a table or a consultation?

Main Street Highland Park has purchased a number of small cafe tables for businesses in need. They are also available to offer no-cost consultations on ways to maximize your storefront to attract customers. Please email mainstreethighlandpark@gmail.com for to request a table or a consultation to determine how you can make an outdoor setup work for your business. The Borough will consider requests to convert public parking spaces on Borough streets to create additional space for restaurants and retailers. Interested businesses should contact Main Street Highland Park. 

Grants & Assistance

Main Street Highland Park is an important resource to all downtown businesses in Highland Park. Contact them today at mainstreethighlandpark@gmail.com

New Jersey Economic Development Authority Phase 2 Small Business Assistance Grants

Middlesex County CDBG-CV Grant for Small Businesses

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 Guidelines for Town Tables

  1. No more than eight people are allowed at a table.
  2. Tables are placed to maximize social distancing and should not be moved.
  3. Visitors shall maintain and respect social distance from those not in their own group.
  4. Masks must be worn at all times, except to eat or drink while outdoors. (Exceptions are for children under the age of 2 or people with medical reasons for not wearing a mask.)
  5. Visitors are encouraged to utilize cleaning supplies to wipe down tables before/after use.
  6. Tables close at 11 PM and operations must not violate noise ordinances.
  7. Smoking is prohibited at/near dining tables.
  8. Dispose of all trash in the nearby receptacles.

Guidelines for Retail Displays

Businesses are encouraged to place merchandise displays on the sidewalk (or other available space) in front of their business.

  1. A minimum of 4 feet of sidewalk shall be maintained to allow for safe pedestrian circulation and clear access to business entrances.
  2. All ADA requirements must be met.
  3. A tidy appearance shall be maintained at all times.
  4. Displays are permitted during business hours of operation.

Guidelines for Sidewalk Cafes

Businesses are encouraged to place small cafe tables and chairs on the sidewalk (or other available space) in front of their business. Café permits are free; however the following guidelines apply. Careful review of Executive Order 105 and Executive Directive 20-014 is strongly recommended.

  1. A minimum of four feet of sidewalk shall be maintained to allow for safe pedestrian circulation and clear access to business entrances.
  2. All ADA requirements must be met.
  3. A tidy appearance shall be maintained at all times.
  4. Sidewalk retail displays are permitted during business hours of operation.
  5. A permit is required for businesses interested in a sidewalk café; permits are free and the application process will be expedited.
  6. Sidewalk cafes shall close by 11 PM and operations must not violate noise ordinances.
  7. Businesses must comply with all guidelines established by the State of New Jersey related to their employee policies and operations.
  8. No more than 8 people are allowed at a table.
  9. Tables must be arranged to allow for at least 6 feet of distance between parties.