City of Raleigh loosening outdoor seating regulations to help struggling small businesses

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The City of Raleigh is loosening regulations to help small business owners, especially the ones downtown that experiencing vandalism and looting.

Owners can now apply at no extra cost for a temporary license to extend outdoor seating on a sidewalk or parking lot.

The city is also expediting the permit process for storefront repairs, like replacing a windows.

Budacai owner Khoa Dinh appreciates the offerings, but says neither can help him now. He's dealing with other hurdles.

He's waiting on an insurance check to make costly repairs.

"We'll see how long it'll take," said Dinh.

His windows were smashed in during demonstrations. Alcohol, computers, and iPad tablets were taken.

Dinh says his insurance company has come out and accessed the space, but he has tons of paperwork to compile and send to a forensic accounting team.

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He has reopened his door for business. Yet, doesn't think adding extra tables outside is going to make a difference to his bottom line.

"It's hot outside, people are just not using the patio and we notice the traffic is completely died down. I don't know if people feel they can't go downtown," he said.

He is trying to surviving the COVID-19 shutdown and demonstrations. After the vandalism, Dinh says he has lost faith in humanity but did find it touching to see the community rallying together. The kindness is motivating him.

"You just have to learn to deal with it and hopefully be stronger after," said Dinh.
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