Home / Featured / Mayor Launches Financial Assistance Program to Help Small Business Owners Transition to City’s Permanent Al Fresco Program, Application Opens Today

Mayor Launches Financial Assistance Program to Help Small Business Owners Transition to City’s Permanent Al Fresco Program, Application Opens Today

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass announced that restaurant owners can now apply for the permanent Al Fresco outdoor dining program. The outdoor dining program originally was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and remains popular. The Mayor also launched financial relief for businesses owners to help them continue participating in the permanent program. 

“Today, we are launching a program to help relieve businesses of some of the costs to continue providing al fresco dining,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “This is part of our ongoing work to support small businesses, create jobs and add vibrancy to neighborhoods. We will do all that we can to help restaurants, cafes and eateries be successful.”

“Al Fresco Dining is such a huge win for Angelenos. With our weather and beautiful city, we are paving the course to be the number one city for outdoor dining in the nation,” said Christy Vega, owner of Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks. “I’m very excited to see the robust effect that the permanent program will bring to Los Angeles restaurants, especially for the smallest mom & pop operators.”

Last year, Mayor Bass directed departments to coordinate and develop the approved permanent program which was created to support small businesses and centered them in policy development. The Al Fresco program is helping business owners thrive as 90% of businesses believe their outdoor dining area is integral to their businesses operations and identity, and 97% of businesses are interested in keeping their outdoor dining area permanently, according to a City survey of participating owners.

Additional information and resources are available to businesses applying for the permanent program can:

  • Visit the Online Al Fresco Guide, which outlines requirements, anticipated costs, and answers to most frequently asked questions. 

  • Ask questions by contacting the Al Fresco Assistance Helplines (Scroll to bottom)

  • Get help applying for the program by contacting or visiting one of the City’s ten BusinessSource Centers. Consultants are ready to assist at no cost.

  • Attend Al Fresco Webinars to learn more about the new program. 

  • Webinars are available the 1st Wednesday of each month at 12:00 PM from February 2024 to June 2024. RSVP for the first webinar on February 7 here.

  • Please refer to the L.A. Al Fresco Disabled Access Toolkit to learn how to provide equal access to customers with disabilities in the Public Right-of-Way.

“Al Fresco has been a lifeline for our restaurant and brought vibrancy back to our streets after Covid. We’ve been able to have events that bring the community and neighbors together. We’re able to provide space for people who are still cautious, and with our beautiful weather, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have Al Fresco in Los Angeles,” said Chef Theresa Montaño, Owner of Otoño restaurant in Highland Park. “I’m thrilled the program has become permanent, I’m pleased by the effort of restaurants and industry to come together to make this happen. It was wonderful to see and I am delighted that the City will be offering subsidies.”
Small business owners will be automatically considered for the Fee Relief Program upon submitting their application for a revocable permit ― the permit required to operate outdoor dining on the sidewalks and on-street. Business owners are encouraged to apply early to take advantage of the fee relief and ensure adequate time for processing and inspections. As many as 1,800 small businesses are expected to benefit from the Mayor’s fee relief program.
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