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Today, Malta Town Supervisor Darren O’Connor announced a temporary waiver of the Town Noise Ordinance to allow live music outdoors at Restaurants, Bars, Breweries, and Entertainment Venues. At the urging of local businesses impacted by COVID 19 shutdowns, Supervisor O’Connor signed a proclamation under his emergency powers to allow outdoor live music until 9pm at restaurants, bars, breweries and entertainment venues effective immediately through September 30, 2020.
Business in Malta, Saratoga County and across Upstate New York have suffered severe losses from the months-long economic shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As those businesses begin to reopen, limitations have been put in place, depending on Phase, that restrict indoor dining areas to a smaller percentage of capacity. The existing Town Noise ordinance restricts the amplification of music outdoors that can be heard on an adjacent property, meaning any business wanting to host live music would need to use valuable indoor space that could house socially-distant table. Instead, by allowing outdoor music, the Town would open up more revenue opportunities for struggling small businesses.
Supervisor O’Connor said, “This crisis has impacted us all, but our small businesses and restaurants are particularly vulnerable. Where possible, government should find ways for businesses to succeed and contribute to the economy and I’m proud to have found a creative way to help these businesses.”
Earlier in the week, businesses including Unified Beerworks, sought clarification in the Town Noise Ordinance from Malta Economic Development Committee Chair Timothy Dunn. Councilman Dunn enlisted the support of Supervisor O’Connor and in less than 48 hours, the Town had acted to help these businesses open up new revenue opportunities.
Councilman Timothy Dunn said, “Throughout this crisis, our team has worked collaboratively to do whatever we can to help our neighbors and businesses weather this storm. Whether it’s live music, building permits, or supporting the food pantry, our team is striving to show that we’re a community that believes in helping and supporting one another.”
Unified Beerworks Co-Owner Erika Anderson said, “The temporary waiver will be tremendously helpful to those of us that once provided live music indoors at our venues, which is a much smaller space now given the restrictions due to COVID-19. Not only will it help retain business within the Town of Malta, but it also supports the many musicians out there that have not been able to work through this crisis.”
In the last 10 months, the Town of Malta has moved aggressively to help businesses and neighbors in difficult times:
Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkus said, "The Saratoga County Chamber applauds the leadership being provided by Town of Malta Supervisor Darren O’Connor and his team as they rise to the occasion to help both local restaurants and local entertainers. Local entertainers have been without work or income for months as have many employees in the restaurant industry. Using the flexibility now being provided by the New York State Liquor Authority, the Town of Malta is making a huge difference allowing both expanded outdoor dining options as well as live entertainment outdoors. This action is putting people back to work and helping small businesses owners in the Town of Malta to adapt and survive."
Malta has worked to find greater balance in development, with a strategy that focuses on increasing private investment in the Town commercial corridors, while limiting sprawl and overdevelopment. Earlier this year, the Town launched a new program called MaltaWorks, focused on supporting existing businesses and encouraging new investment in the Town that is home to the GlobalFoundries computer chip factory.