PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The popular Healthy Business Program — which allowed businesses to spread out on the sidewalks in front of their locations — was extended through March 31, 2020 with applications being accepted now for the Winter Healthy Business Program.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation, which oversees the program, made the announcement Friday about the free applications and permits. But this is not an extension of an existing permit. Businesses who want to operate outside during the winter months must apply and each application will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

Winter Healthy Business Program

Currently, permits for the summer program expire November 1. PBOT said businesses who want to continue uninterrupted should apply by October 25. All new applicants can apply anytime.

The Winter Healthy Business Program will let businesses use tents, heaters, extension cords and other items. But there are different considerations involved, including sight lines for drivers, right-of-way, leaf pickup and other issues, officials said.

And PBOT also said that businesses that may have trouble complying with the winter program rules may be able to get an extension to their November 1 permit expiration, but that is on a individual case basis.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor public space provides a crucial venue for businesses that want to reopen, while ensuring the safety of their employees and customers. We encourage Portlanders to support these businesses and work with us to provide safe operations this winter,” Transportation Director Chris Warner said in a statement.

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees the transportation bureau, said “dozens of businesses have told us they have been able to rehire staff and reopen. I can’t wait to see how local entrepreneurs and artists express their creativity on our streets and sidewalks this winter.”