UTICA, N.Y. – The Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce is supporting the efforts of the Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association (ESRTA) to accelerate the opening of eateries across the state.
ESRTA, which is based in Albany, believes operating at 50% capacity is hindering the recovery of some small restaurants.
Megan McGrogan, executive director of the Utica Chamber, says the chamber agrees that the new guidelines leave some restaurants suffering because of their size.
“I think some restaurants are operating very well right now. But some, the very small restaurants - they're having a difficult time with the current status. If you're a larger restaurant, you're able to adapt a little bit better but there are a lot of smaller restaurants - that their capacity, 50% is still quite a bit of a change if you're a small restaurant,” said McGrogan.
ESRTA has proposed rules for Phase 3 that would let restaurants fill to 75% capacity outdoors and 50% in bar areas, as long as social distancing guidelines are in place. They are also urging the state to allow restaurants to open all seated areas in Phase 4.