The City of Cedar Rapids has announced they're making the process of applying for outdoor service areas easier for local businesses. The news comes as Cedar Rapids businesses try to serve customers and also adhere to guidelines on social distancing.

Cedar Rapids businesses that would like to have outdoor service areas on either public sidewalks or private property, on a temporary basis, can apply. In a media release from the city, restaurants, retail stores, bars, and fitness centers were specifically mentioned as the type of businesses that may be able to benefit from displays of merchandise or outdoor dining on a patio.

Typically, permits are only active for a few days, but the city is making these good through the end of the year, if approved.

In the release from the city, Community Development Director Jennifer Pratt said,

We recognize the many hurdles businesses are facing as they reopen while addressing health concerns related to COVID-19. Cedar Rapids wants to make it easier for businesses to creatively practice social distancing, and we’re committed to helping streamline processes so retail and restaurant owners can safely reopen.

There is no fee to apply. Businesses that are interested can complete the permit for the Outdoor Commercial Services permit HERE. Questions can be sent to or by contacting the Cedar Rapids Development Services Division at (319) 286-5836.

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