Business & Real Estate

County approves permit waiver for small businesses

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors last week unanimously approved a COVID-19 recovery proposal allowing the county to waive or reduce permit fees for small businesses for one year.

The waiver applies to businesses with fewer than 50 employees and includes restaurants, hair salons and gyms, according to a press release issued by Supervisor Cindy Chavez’s office. It took effect March 9 and will appear on the permit holder’s next invoice.

There also will be other county communications programs to get the word out about the waiver to small businesses.

“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,” Chavez said in the release.
Chavez partnered with Supervisor Susan Ellenberg on the waiver, which Ellenberg proposed.

During the March 9 Board of Supervisors meeting, Ellenberg said many of the small businesses hit hard during the pandemic are owned and operated by women and immigrants.

With the approval of the waiver, the county will move $5.5 million from the General Contingency Fund to the Department of Environmental Health Fund to offset the cost of covering the department’s losses of the permit fees charged to the food retailers, restaurants, personal-care services and gyms.

Small businesses also have access to permit and license fee waivers from the state, according to the release.

For more information, visit

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