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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented economic disruption worldwide and within our local business community. While nearly all businesses have been negatively impacted, restaurants and bars have been especially hard-hit.

Restaurants and bars are key contributors to the vitality of downtown and have been unable to offer dine-in service at 100% occupancy for over 10 months. it is expected that these establishments will continue to be restricted to approximately half of their pre-COVID level. It is also essential for these businesses to provide environments that meet consumer health expectations. For these reasons, demand for outdoor dining is expected to increase even throughout the spring and summer of 2021. Previously established outdoor dining areas almost certainly will be inadequate to meet the increased demand, since the seating capacity of those areas will be reduced by the requirement for increased physical distancing between parties.

On July 1st, 2020 the Michigan legislature amended 1998 PA 58 to allow local governmental units to establish within their boundaries a Social District and within the Social District a Commons area where patrons of properly permitted, licensed alcohol providers may be outside with a single open container. To promote the continued development and economic vitality of Downtown Owosso, while promoting public health and social distancing, Owosso Main Street/DDA and the City of Owosso approved the creation of a Social District as defined by 1998 PA 58 - Sec. 551 and the creation of a Commons area within the Social District as described below. A map with the proposed boundaries of the Social District located further below on this page.

— Owosso Main Street Board

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Downtown Owosso Social District Guidelines

Within the Downtown Commons Area, patrons of participating restaurants and bars may carry an open alcoholic beverage up to 16oz. in a designated container.

NOTE: All State of Michigan and City of Owosso laws apply. Including, but not limited to those prohibiting public intoxication, impaired driving, open containers and serving alcohol to minors.

  • Those 21 years and older can purchase an alcoholic beverage in a designated cup from a participating establishment and carry and consume in the district's common areas.
  • Drink from designated containers ONLY.
  • Only alcohol purchased from a Social District permit holder may be consumed in the Downtown Commons Area. No outside alcohol!
  • Alcoholic beverages purchased at one establishment cannot be taken into any other establishment. They must remain outdoors.
  • Stay within the designated Commons Area. Look for signs indicating boundaries.
  • Designated cups are not reusable.
  • Drink responsibly and have fun.

Are you a local business?

Here are some resources to help you implement the social district in your business. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We're here to help you out.

Frequently Asked Questions