January 5, 2021
MERCED— Due to the strain of COVID-19 on local businesses in Merced County, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to waive or reduce various fees this year in an effort to assist struggling business owners.
Fees were either eliminated or reduced (some still have a State apportionment) for qualifying Business Licenses and Occupancy Operation Permits in unincorporated areas as well as Health Permits countywide. These fees will resume at their approved rates in 2022.
The State began temporarily shutting down businesses deemed non-essential in March, and put significant restrictions on businesses allowed to remain open. These actions resulted in major revenue losses, layoffs, and threat of insolvency.
Multiple business grants, such as the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program and Merced County’s Ready2Open Small Business Assistance Program, were made available, but in many cases haven’t covered overall revenue losses.
“This year has been challenging for many reasons, and the impacts to our business community cannot be overlooked,” said Board Chairman Daron McDaniel. “Waiving business fees can’t replace the lost revenue for our struggling businesses, but we do hope it helps to keep them open and keep our residents employed.”
Qualifying businesses will see an automatic adjustment on 2021 invoices and will not need to submit any additional documentation to receive the reduction and/or waivers.
For more information regarding 2021 fee reductions and waivers for qualified businesses, please contact:
- Community and Economic Development Department (County Business Licenses)
- Kristin McHaney 209-385-7654 x 4411 or Ana Muniz-Laguna 209-385-7654 x 4539
- County Fire Department (Occupancy Operation Permits)
- Cpt. Chris Bernard, Fire Prevention, 209-385-7347
- Merced County Department of Public Health (Health Permits)
- Environmental Health, 209-381-1100