NEWPORT BEACH一 In their March 23 meeting the Newport Beach City Council unanimously voted to pass a waiver for the annual business license for businesses affected by COVID-19.
“We did the small business grants first at the beginning of the year, and then we saw an opportunity to help further by providing the same businesses relief through the business license tax,” said Mayor Brad Avery.
The waiver will apply from April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022, and will apply to businesses that were forced to close sometime during the pandemic and were not able to operate, dropped below 25 percent for three consecutive months, and/or had to lay off employees.
There are 1,850 commercially based businesses that will receive the waiver, about 25,000 businesses have city permits, including home-based businesses and businesses that operate in the city but are located elsewhere according to a March 24 press release from the city.
“The city has already identified those businesses that meet one of the four qualifications,” said Avery. “Businesses that were impacted by COVID-19…will not receive a bill for the business license tax from April to March 2022, and then we are also providing mailing to other businesses who will receive a bill of notice that if they feel like they qualify they can contact the city to explain their position.”
City income from business licenses usually amounts to $4 million a year, and the cost of waiving the business licenses will cost over $600,000 according to Avery. The loss from the city will be balanced out through prior years’ budget surplus.
The waivers and the appeals for relief will go through the city’s finance department, to learn more see the Newport City Council website.