Governor Ducey provides assistance to Arizona restaurants setting up expanded outdoor dining

Finance to Table Education for Operating Your Restaurant

Arizona restaurants are still limited in their in-restaurant dining, but on December 2 Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order that will allow restaurants to expand outside more easily and provides funding to help them do so.

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The executive order sets aside funding for:

  • $100,000 to the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association to expand its AZSAFE+CLEAN program assisting restaurants and hotels with sanitation and mitigation.
  • $1 million establishing the Safest Outside Restaurant Assistance Program to help restaurants expand outdoor dining.
  • $100,000 for the Arizona Restaurant Association to help restaurants expand outdoor dining.

The Safest Outside Restaurant Assistance Program will provide funding of up to $10,000 per restaurant to extend outdoor dining with items like furniture, barriers, heaters, and more. Funding will be distributed on a first come, first served basis for eligible businesses that have been approved for an extension of premises. To be eligible, applicants must comply with all COVID-19 related Executive Orders; demonstrate a new extension of premises that has been approved by the local governing body and the Arizona Department of Liquor, if applicable; plan to extend the premises for a minimum of three months; must have fewer than 50 employees; must be Arizona owned and operated, and more. Additional requirements will be listed on the application. The application will open on Monday, December 7 and will be available here.

To further assist with outdoor dining, zoning, licensing and signage regulations will also be eased to accommodate expanded outdoor dining. The executive order allows restaurants to expand outside their existing facility but must remain within 60 feet. You must still obtain permission from the property owner and apply with local governments. If you’re interested in expanding, review your city’s application process here.

You can read the executive order here.

Contact your Henry+Horne tax professional for more details. For more information and resources on COVID-19, see our coronavirus page.

Beth Hawley