WESTPORT - The start of the outdoor dining season kicked off in Westport today under a new edict by the Planning and Zoning Commission to increase the number of businesses that qualify for outdoor permits.

Owners and patrons say the new policy is a no-brainer, as outdoor seating becomes a must to drum up new business.

Town officials are asking businesses that want to take part and introduce outdoor dining to call the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission.