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FRAMINGHAM – Downtown Framingham, Inc. is launching a partial fee reimbursement program to facilitate permanent outdoor seating patios and sidewalk cafes for downtown businesses. MutualOne Bank initiated program sponsorship after quickly recognizing an immediate business program need.

In December 2020, the business owner of Pho Dakao, Dang Pham, contacted Courtney Thraen Executive Director of Downtown Framingham, Inc. (DFI), seeking deadline assistance to the complete alteration of premises requirements for permanent sidewalk café activation, requiring floor plan updates to his Common Victualer License along with updates to his ABCC License, among other items.

After conferring with the City, Courtney assured Dang he had ample time in early 2021 to submit required updates to establish permanent sidewalk café activation as part of his annual Common Victualer License renewal and Liquor License renewal process each December.

Currently, sidewalk usage licenses expire on May 1, 2021; 2020 was the first year for downtown Framingham to witness sidewalk cafes and sidewalk merchandise displays. Temporary patio dining licenses expire 60 days following the end of the Massachusetts State of Emergency (to be announced by Governor Baker).

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In mid-December, Courtney reached out to Mark Haranas, president of the Framingham Business Association and CEO of MutualOne Bank, to discuss Pho Dakao’s experience to make permanent its floor plans to illustrate its sidewalk café each year when its Common Victualer License is up for renewal. They also discussed the allotted timeframe for businesses to accomplish these updates, with the burden often falling upon on busy owner-operators of downtown’s multicultural microbusinesses.

This week, DFI launches the partial fee reimbursement program to assist downtown businesses seeking to make outdoor dining patio cafes and sidewalk cafes a permanent illustration on their Common Victualer License floor plan along with updating local and state liquor licenses.

DFI will conduct outreach through email and in-person delivery of multilingual flyers to downtown restaurants this week.

DFI will seek to provide on average $250 to at least 10 downtown restaurants upon demonstration of fee payment to the City along with delivering pro-bono processing support for required forms. These functions will be accomplished by DFI’s program manager, Anthony Lucivero, and DFI’s multilingual business outreach coordinator, Alex Paiva.

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Photos and press release submitted to SOURCE media by Downtown Framingham Inc.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.