The Newton-Needham Regional Chamber is trying to bolster support for local restaurants hit hard economically by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, while the city has suspended a ban on plastic bags and polystyrene foam containers to help takeout and to-go services.
On Sunday, Governor Charlie Baker ordered sweeping restrictions on daily life in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Those changes included closing schools, theaters, clubs, and gyms, curbing large gatherings, and ordering restaurants to cut their hours and limit themselves to only takeout customers for the next several weeks.
The regional chamber’s Dine Local Take-out Challenge is meant to promote local restaurants and encourage residents to help support them.
“Our local businesses need us more than ever – let’s show them our support and #dinelocal with takeout and delivery,” the chamber said in a statement on its website.
The chamber’s list of restaurants includes menus, contact information, and in many cases, options to order online.
Mayor Ruthanne Fuller on Wednesday also called on residents to help support local restaurants.
“Governor Baker made a good decision to do so to enforce social distancing," Fuller said in a statement. "But, let’s support these small businesses. Use takeout and delivery!”
She said the city’s commissioner of health and human services, Deborah Youngblood, has signed an emergency protocol that suspends enforcement of a city ban on plastic bags and polystyrene foam containers.
Fuller said the move was needed because there appears to be a shortage of “better, environmentally appropriate items.”
The temporary suspension of the ban will remain in effect while the state prohibits on-premises dining, she said.
John Hilliard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.