Grant awarded to increase/enhance outdoor seating for Southborough restaurants and public spaces

This week, the Town was awarded a $24,500 grant, to help create outdoor seating areas. A press release explains that the grant:

 will be used to convert existing parking lots into safe outdoor seating areas, place picnic tables in green spaces, and purchase large tents and outdoor heaters for use by local restaurants. In addition, the grant allows the purchase of planters and bicycle racks.

The large tents and outdoor heaters will be available for use by Southborough restaurants free of charge on a first-come first-serve basis.

The grant from the Mass Dept of Transportation was secured by Southborough’s Economic Development Committee. The EDC applied for a MassDOT Shared Streets & Spaces grant. MassDOT launched the special program this summer to help deal with the financial impacts of the pandemic. The program:

allows cities and towns to make rapid changes to streets, sidewalks, and public spaces to improve social distancing, outdoor recreation, and small business operations to keep communities safe and thriving.

The release quotes EDC Chair John Wood explaining the EDC’s intent:

Businesses struggling to survive this pandemic often don’t have funds to make additional equipment investments. By offering outdoor tents and heaters for use by our restaurants, we hope to assist them in expanding their dining areas outdoors and ultimately improve their bottom-line

EDC Coordinator Marijke Munsiff is coordinating with Public Works on the public spaces. She is also working on reaching out to area restaurants. Anyone interested in pursuing the opportunity should contact her at 508 446 7839 or

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3 years ago

Kind of late in the season for help to expand outdoor seating. How about funneling some of those funds to Hola… whoever provided them guidance on the rules for allowable indoor seating gave them pretty bad information, imho. There are only 3 tables set up against the wall and none of the small high-tops againt the bar that you see everywhere else. I think they could safely sit another 10-12 cusomers inside but the guys there say “they” wouldn’t allow it.

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