The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved waiving or reducing permit fees for small businesses as part of the county's COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees, including food retailers, restaurants, personal care services, gyms and others impacted by the pandemic, will have permit fees waived, effective immediately.
"Small businesses have payroll, bills and fixed debts so every fee we can reduce or waive as we begin to economically recover from the pandemic will help," said Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who co-introduced the plan with Supervisor Susan Ellenberg.
Ellenberg noted that many of the fee waivers would also help women and immigrants, who own many of the county's small businesses.
Waiving permit fees would have a fiscal impact of about $5.5 million, but the county's administration will move that amount from the general fund to the county's environmental health fund to offset the cost.
Small businesses can also supplement county permit fee waivers with permit and license fee waivers from the state.