The Santa Clara County Supervisory Board on Tuesday unanimously approved the removal or reduction of licensing fees for small businesses as part of the county’s COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees, including grocery retailers, restaurants, personal care services, gyms and others affected by the pandemic, will benefit from a license fee waiver, effective immediately.

“Small businesses have fixed payrolls, bills and debts, so any fees that we can reduce or waive when we start to recover economically from the pandemic will help us,” said supervisor Cindy Chavez, who co – presented 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.

The waiver of the permit fee would have a fiscal impact of about $ 5.5 million, but the county administration will transfer that amount from the general fund to the county environmental health fund to offset the cost.

Small businesses can also supplement county permit fee waivers with state permit and license fee waivers.

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