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Dozens of Albuquerque Businesses Apply for Outdoor Dining Permits and Grants

City making it easier for local cafes and restaurants to conduct business through pandemic

July 28, 2020

The City of Albuquerque has received dozens of applications from local cafes and restaurants since announcing an expedited permitting process and a new grant program to help expand outdoor dining options for these local businesses. In the midst of a global pandemic and state-issued restrictions on indoor dining, the City of Albuquerque has developed creative ways to aid local businesses in staying afloat through these tough economic times. To date, the City has received 106 applications for outdoor dining permits and 57 applications for financial assistance through its new $200,000 outdoor dining grant program.

“Our community is preparing for the long haul with our coronavirus response,” stated Mayor Tim Keller. “That’s why we’re stepping up to do what we can to ease the burden on restaurants by waiving permitting and inspection fees to expand outdoor seating and providing some financial assistance to get them the equipment they need to set up these outdoor spaces.”

Of the 106 applications for outdoor dining permits received to date, the City has approved 97 permits and has 9 pending approval. And through the City of Albuquerque’s new outdoor dining grant program, the Economic Development Department will work in coordination with other City departments to identify and provide financial support ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to local restaurants and cafes with viable plans to mitigate business interruption losses by expanding the outdoor dining options for their customers. There is a total of $200,000 available.

Utilizing funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the City is making grants available to support restaurants, cafes, and food trucks in setting up and operating the following types of outdoor dining options:

  • Public sidewalks,
  • Parklets,
  • Private parking lots, and
  • Limited street closures.

Local eateries can find out more about the grant funding process by going to

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has also taken measures to support local businesses that include waiving fees. Fees have been waived for restaurants working to add outdoor seating capacity as a way to get diners back quickly and safely. Additionally, the City is waiving fees for inspections on commercial swimming pools, restaurant inspections, food trucks permits, and growers market permits for all of 2020. The City is automatically refunding any businesses that have already paid permit fees for calendar year 2020.