In 2020, many small businesses were forced to change their service model to stay open. Restaurants provided carry-out or sold products when they couldn’t operate in-house dining. This entrepreneurial creativity may be short-lived, however, as many local zoning codes prohibit some types of businesses from operating in certain areas. Regulations have been relaxed to accommodate the COVID era, but will this flexibility remain after things finally start returning to normal?

Emily Hamilton is a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Urbanity Project at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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