California is waiving state business licensing fees in restaurants, hair salons and nail salons as part of a new COVID-19 relief effort. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses now won’t have to pay licensing fees until 2023. The measure is part of a $7.6 billion stimulus plan signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Feb. 22. The relief package also includes $2 billion in grants for small business as the pandemic continues.
Waiving business license fees
About 53,000 hair salons and barbershops automatically won’t have to pay state licensing fees. Neither will individual hair stylists or barbers.
For about 59,000 restaurants, they won’t have to pay the annual fee to renew their state liquor licenses, which range in cost from $455 to $1,235. The bars and restaurants will need to apply to have their fees waived.
The plan to waive licensing fees was approved after small businesses criticized having to pay yearly licensing fees when they weren’t open during state lockdowns last spring and summer.
Offering other relief funds for businesses
In another COVID-19 relief package, Newsom approved $2 billion in tax relief for small businesses in California. The package also included $24 million for farming operations and processing plants to pay for workers’ hotel stays when they need to quarantine because of coronavirus exposure.
As part of Newsom’s 2021-22 state budget plan an additional $14 million will go to people who have either lost their jobs or small businesses facing eviction because of the pandemic. The hope is that the funds further will spur California’s economic recovery in the coming year.