Howard County Executive Ball Introduces Emergency Legislation to Maintain Outdoor Dining

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball speaks at a podium
County Executive Ball at the July 21, 2021 press conference announcing the emergency legislation to maintain outdoor dining.
Image courtesy of Howard County Government.

Yesterday Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced the introduction of emergency legislation to extend outdoor dining until November 15, 2021, for restaurants and bars that added or expanded that service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like many counties, Howard issued temporary permits that allowed bars and restaurants to create or expand their outdoor seating while indoor dining capacity limits were in place. More than 60 restaurants in applied for the permits. However, in Howard County the temporary permits are tied to the County’s State of Emergency which will expire at the same time as the State’s emergency order on August 15, 2021.

County Executive Ball highlighted the importance of continuing the option for expanded outdoor dining at a press conference held at Manor Hill Beer Garden.

“During the last few months, I have visited dozens of restaurants where the owners say they are beginning to recover from the losses suffered during the pandemic. By allowing them to continue to offer outdoor seating, we hope they will be able to rebound even more quickly. I am optimistic the County Council will vote to approve the extension by month’s end.”

The expansion of outdoor dining options was just one of many actions county governments took to respond to the pandemic while allowing businesses to function safely and important services to continue. At the Summer 2021 MACo Conference, an expert panel will discuss which pandemic changes are here to stay and how trends that began during the pandemic will continue to impact local governments in the future.

The “Are Some Pandemic Quick Fixes Here to Stay? A Longer-Term Look at Short-Term Solutions” session, hosted by MACo’s Administrator’s Affiliate, will be held Thursday, August 19, 2021; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

The MACo Summer Conference will be held in-person August 18-21 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Resilient. Responsive…Ready.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

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