Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced reforms to the City of Atlanta’s public kiosk program to enhance the economic and pedestrian vibrancy of downtown, while creating greater opportunities for entrepreneurs and microbusinesses.

The program, managed by the Department of City Planning, contains 17 brick-and-mortar kiosks located on sidewalks throughout downtown where small business owners may sell retail and concession items to passersby.

“These reforms are designed to create better opportunities for small downtown businesses and improve the outdoor shopping experience in the city,” Bottoms said. “These changes will lead to greater investment, small business innovation and vibrancy downtown.”

Under the new program, the City will enter into license agreements with businesses to operate the vacant kiosks. Beginning in spring 2021, operators for these kiosks will be selected through a public request for proposal (RFP) process.

Current kiosk operators will have the opportunity to renew their permits under the existing program guidelines for up to three renewal cycles (ending in 2024).

The reforms also include a dedicated trust fund to allow operator fees to be directly invested back into kiosk maintenance, program promotion and small business development.

“These changes will re-invigorate the public kiosk program, which has thus far remained underutilized,” said Tim Keane, Commissioner, Department of City Planning. “The ability to offer a wider variety of entrepreneurs the opportunity to operate and nurture their businesses from a downtown kiosk will make downtown more vibrant, drive economic development, and support our efforts to re-imagine public space.”

Information on how individuals may apply to operate a downtown kiosk under the new program guidelines will be released in the coming weeks.

(Screen capture: City of Atlanta)

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