Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.

LETTER: Let Langley businesses expand use of patios

Local letter writer has seen how vital patios were to local hospitality sector

Dear Editor,

According to a report released by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Statistics Canada, we could lose up to 60 per cent of our nation’s restaurants and small, family-owned establishments in the next few months as government support ends and the pandemic enters a new phase.

A large proportion of these closures will be as a result of businesses not being able to generate enough revenue due to the limits on seating capacity and physical distancing measures necessary to protect people from the spread of COVID-19.

Here in Langley, thanks to work by members of the general public, members of council, and members of the local business community including craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries, we were proactive.

• READ MORE: Langley pubs, restaurants can expand patios

Early in the summer, Langley’s establishments were permitted to extend their outdoor seating areas in order to increase the number of customers they could safely serve. As someone who has the privilege of working in one of Langley’s breweries, I’ve seen first-hand just how crucial it has been in ensuring our survival in this time of crisis. While I can’t speak for the many other restaurants, cafes, and bars that have taken advantage of the temporary program, our extended patio has proven invaluable, without creating undue hardship on any neighbours or other tenants in our building.

As we move into the fall and approach the end of the temporary extension program, I firmly believe we need to consider making this temporary program permanent.

With a change in the weather, businesses will come up with creative ways to provide warmth and shelter for their outdoor seating areas, but we should do everything we can to help them be able to serve as many people as possible, since restrictions due to COVID-19 are likely not being removed any time soon.

Even if the pandemic wasn’t an issue, and when it one day is no longer a topic of major concern, our patios should – within reason – stay extended. These spaces create more lively neighbourhoods, more spaces for people to gather safely, and more seats for badly needed customers at our local businesses.

Moving forward, we should allow bigger patios, and encourage places that either haven’t had, or been allowed to have patios before, to safely and responsibly create added space. This is dependent, of course, on support and cooperation from Township and City staff, as well as the various landlords. We need to encourage these three groups to continue to be forward-thinking.

With a relatively simple change in policy, Langley can become an even more business-friendly place, and create even more livable, interesting, and exciting neighbourhoods at the same time. It’s a true win-win.

Michael Pratt, Murrayville

.

Do you have an opinion you’d like to share. Please send us a letter to the editor, include your first and last name, your address, and your phone number. Email to editor@langleyadvancetimes.com. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Letter to the EditorLocal Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tree protection advisory committee members appointed in Langley Township

Volunteers will provide guidance on protection, preservation, and planting of trees in township

Eric Woodward Foundation takes over management of Fort Langley Cranberry Festival

Annual Thanksgiving event was cancelled for 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

VIDEO: Fall storm hits Langley, leaves hundreds without power

Risk of thunderstorm remain in Thursday forecast

Rivers could rise rapidly as heavy rains hit Lower Mainland

Larger rivers to reach peak levels on Thursday or into Friday, according to high streamflow advisory

Langley4Langley food bank fundraiser extends deadline to Sept. 30

Participants can log activity online and take part in 10 km virtual fun run in Derby Reach

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Mounties cleared by watchdog in fatal shooting of man with schizophrenia in Maple Ridge

Kyaw Din was killed by the RCMP during a mental health incident in August 2019

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Increased border enforcement curbs cross-line parties at Peace Arch State Park

Gatherings between U.S. and Canadian citizens ‘a daily carnival’ – resident

Most Read