On Aug. 12, the County began notifying restaurants of $4.5 million in permit fee refunds for the period of March 16, 2020, through June 15, 2021, the result of a class action lawsuit against the County by local restaurant group 640 Tenth LP. This is in addition to $118.9 million already provided to restaurants by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to offset the impact of California’s stay-at-home and local public health orders. Agreed in the lawsuit settlement is for all restaurants and limited food preparation facilities in the County that paid or were required to pay annual permit fees to the County and the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health and Quality during this time frame.
This refund provides a 50% refund of annual permit fees to restaurants that paid, and 50% credit to those that owe annual permit fees. It also waives late fees for untimely payment of permit fees if the fees were paid withing 12 month of the original due date or by Dec. 31, 2021, whichever is sooner. Nathan Fletcher, chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors said that restaurant owners and their employees “suffered significant losses” due to the pandemic in a press release from the County.
“As the industry rebuilds, this refund will aid restaurants in their economic recovery and is in addition to the tens of millions of dollars provided to them during the height of the pandemic,” he stated. “To help restaurants recover and ensure we can continue to move San Diego County forward, everyone who has not received the vaccine should get it. The economic recovery of restaurants and other businesses depend on it.”
To date, the County has provided $123.4 million to specifically help restaurants. Sarah Aghassi of the County’s Land Use & Environment Group said that the restaurant industry is a valued and important part of the local economy, seriously impacted by pandemic closures.
“We look forward to maintaining our partnership as we move forward with our economic recovery,” she stated.
To find out more about the refunds, the class action lawsuit, visit the County’s news center at https://bit.ly/3suHLFW.