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Downtown San Luis Obispo continues to make changes to help businesses

Posted at 11:55 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 09:44:14-04

New programs in Downtown San Luis Obispo have been designed to help businesses keep their doors open during the ongoing pandemic.

There have been quite a few changes during the past few months in the downtown area and businesses say for the most part the new programs are bringing some relief.

Programs like "Open SLO" have helped restaurants expand seating… offering services to more customers.

"We are able to space out things a little bit more, people feel more comfortable, we can still have a good amount of tables and still get a lot of people in," said Giuseppe's Cucina Rustica Manager, Aurash Afshar.

Since the program started less than a month ago, free parking in the downtown area has been available for months but that’s soon coming to an end.

San Luis Obispo's parking program manager says he hopes having to pay to park in the downtown core doesn’t keep people from coming downtown.

"The hope is we will see the people who have been utilizing the free parking in the 2 hour and 30-minute spacing moves to the 10-hour spaces and the parking structures," said SLO Parking Program Manager, Gaven Hussey.

Although parking has been free for a while shoppers say it will take some time getting used to paying once again.

"The city can definitely use the commerce right now and the income but it's just going to take some getting used to again because we've been free for so long,” said Jeff Edwards.

As things continue to change in the coming month's city managers said they will adapt as needed.

"So it will be a balancing act just moving forward, tweaking the program, improving things that aren't working as well, embracing the things that are working really great," said Transportation Manager, Luke Schwartz.

Other people said parking isn't an issue for them and they will continue to support local businesses as needed.

The city says they will begin checking parking meters by July 27, but 10-hour parking meters and the parking garages will continue to be free of charge.