The Hoboken City Council will consider two measures to help small businesses at next week’s meeting: one that would revise the ability to use kiosks at Pier A and the other which would allow parking lots to act as retail space under certain circumstances.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Hoboken’s small businesses are the backbone of our community and we must do all we can on the legislative level to help them succeed in the new era of social distancing. The time will soon come where stay at home orders are lifted, but businesses will need all available resources to adapt to new capacity and operating regulations,” Council President Jen Giattino and 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, the sponsors of the measures, said in a joint statement.
“We’ve already laid the groundwork to reactivate kiosk use on Pier A and now, there has never been a greater need for outdoor retail and dining options. By opening these kiosks and additional lots throughout our city to small businesses, we’re expanding their ability to operate without being confined to brick and mortar retail space.”
Last summer, the city council adopted an ordinance to reactivate the existing kiosks along the waterfront and new amendments would give the Hoboken Business Alliance the authority to immediately activate these spaces.
A complimentary ordinance would permit small businesses, food trucks, and other retailers to use designated parking lots for pop up shopping and dining.
Both pieces of legislation, up for first reading at Wednesday night’s council meeting, are a continuation of plans DeFusco and Giattino proposed last week that would create parklette-style outdoor cafe spaces and exploring options to intermittently close streets for businesses to expand their operations.
They also introduced a measure that would place a 10 percent cap on the commission fees third party delivery companies can collect during a state of emergency, similar to the one enacted in Jersey City and New York City.
Uber Eats has spoken out against the measure and are now embroiled in a feud in Jersey City, which enacted the change via an executive order from Mayor Steven Fulop after the council approved the first reading of the ordinance the day prior.