Port Coquitlam offers free construction to expand restaurant patios

A server wears a face mask while cleaning a table on the patio at an Earls restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The City of Port Coquitlam is paying for businesses to expand their patios.

The new program includes everything from restaurants to breweries.

Mayor Brad West said the city has $50,000 set aside for businesses to use.

“It all comes from the city’s preexisting budget,” said West. “So there’s no impact on taxpayers.”

He said they’re using the city’s construction company to do the heavy lifting, creating jobs for city workers as well.

“We may not have the ability to do beautiful works of art, but certainly nothing is off the table,” said West.

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“Whether it’s constructing patios, a deck, tables, whatever it might look like.”

It comes as the province has made it easy for businesses to apply to make their liquor or food serving areas bigger, in an effort to promote physical distance.

West said it just makes sense to invest in local businesses.

“It’s not only a way to make sure people can stay safe and the appropriate distancing requirements, it’s also a way to add to the long-term vibrancy of this community.”

The city will also be waiving expansion fees at the municipal level.

West said several businesses have already taken advantage of the program, and he’s hoping many more reach out.

“If that $50,000 starts to run short, then we’ll allocate more resources towards it,” said West. “What a great problem to have investing in businesses.”

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