The City of Lethbridge is expediting permits for the use of sidewalks and streets as businesses look to create outdoor patios and parklets for the summer months.

Officials say these expanded outdoor seating areas will be vital in allowing businesses to serve customers while still following COVID-19 related provincial health orders.

The Heart of Our City Committee has a limited quantity of prefabricated parklet structures, planters, bistro tables and chairs that businesses can borrow.

And the existing Main Street Incentive Program has been expanded beyond facade and signage improvements to help businesses with initial costs of developing their own patio or parklet.

The City piloted parklets last summer with great success.