The spring and summer café season in Riga starts on 18 March. This year the procedure for entrepreneurs to obtain permits for outdoor cafés has been eased, the catalogue of standard solutions for outdoor cafés has been updated and the procedure for applying the street trading fee and the zones for its application have been changed.
This year it is also possible to obtain a street trading permit in a simplified procedure, without project development and approval by the Riga City Council Urban Development Department (PAD), if:
- only lightweight tables and chairs appropriate to the urban area, flower boxes and gas heaters will be placed on the pavement in front of the café;
- the outdoor café will be furnished in accordance with standard solutions.
Last year, in the first summer after the pandemic, about half of the summer cafés in Riga were either standard solutions offered by the municipality, or tables and chairs that could be easily installed without the need for project documentation.
From now on, applications for a street trading permit for tables and chairs only or for a standard solution offered by the municipality should be submitted only to the Riga City Neighbourhood Population Centre (AIC). You do not need to go to other authorities for approval beforehand.
From 10 March 2023 amendments to the procedure for the application of the municipal tax on trading in public places and the zoning of zones have entered into force. From 2023 the city of Riga is divided into three zones, the boundaries of which correspond to the boundaries of the city’s neighbourhoods. The zoning is based on the number of outdoor cafés coordinated and agreed in each neighbourhood in the previous summer season.
There are also new levy rates, depending on both the zone and the outdoor café solution chosen. The daily rate for chairs and tables installed under the concession is now constant, regardless of the area they occupy and the zone in which they are installed.
To support entrepreneurs, street trading fee discounts are also being introduced this year. For those entrepreneurs whose outdoor cafés were unable to operate for at least 30 consecutive days last summer due to street repairs by the municipality, a 50 % discount on the outdoor trading fee is available this season.
This year also sees an update of the PAD catalogue of standard solutions. Currently, work is also in progress on the development of the support programme,
which will provide for co-financing for the installation of new parklets, if the entrepreneur chooses a typical municipal solution.
More information on summer café coordination and approvals, fee levels and the municipality’s standard solutions on the website riga.lv.
Information prepared by: Edite Matusevica (Edīte Matuseviča), Project Coordinator at External Communication Division of Riga City Council, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org