Buchanan’s Social District
by Mayor Sean Denison
A 2020 law allows local governments to apply for a permit to designate groups of restaurants with liquor licenses as social districts. The law also creates areas between restaurants in the districts where alcohol in marked containers from these businesses may be consumed. I am hoping that by the time this article is published, the City of Buchanan will have applied for their Social District permit.
The goal is to create an environment where people want to come and walk around, and that in turn creates a space where businesses want to be located. Make no mistake, this is an economic development tool – being utilized to create an environment downtown that helps our merchants be successful.
Michigan’s restaurant business has been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. I read somewhere that they have seen a 57% decline in sales – nearly twice the national average. We need to do all we can as a City Commission, to give them every opportunity to make up for lost revenues and ensure a successful future. I do not believe that creating the social district alone will be a magic bullet. But I do believe that if we continue to take advantage of every possible resource available and continue to create an environment where people want to be and businesses want to operate – we will have a very bright future.