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East County News Service

Photo: Jeff Rossman, president, California Restaurant Association, estimates 60% of local restaurants have shut down.

March 23, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Supervisor Kristin Gaspar and Supervisor Jim Desmond announced Monday they will ask County staff to defer all environmental health fees for restaurants for the next six months at their Board meeting Tuesday. This includes permit fees, late fees and plan check correction fees associated with plans submitted prior to March 1, 2020. Since the Governor implemented a ban on all indoor dining, the President of the California Restaurant Association Jeff Rossman, estimates that 60% of local restaurants have shut down.

“We have to help these businesses re-open their doors after this health pandemic,” Supervisor Gaspar said. “If we do not keep our workforce strong, there will be more people in San Diego who can’t afford to pay their rent. We can’t let that happen.”

The food and beverage industry is a large component of San Diego’s tourism industry, which is one of the County’s largest economic drivers. Supervisor Desmond said, “We are still in the eye of the hurricane when it comes to the Coronavirus, but it’s important to look forward. We need to talk about the road to recovery for many restaurants and businesses devastated by the Coronavirus.”

Part of the recovery and resiliency process will include applying for loans. Daniel Fitzgerald with the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Network had some words of advice for business owners. “Make sure you watch out for scams and predatory lending. During times of crisis, it is hard to take the time to verify what are real and legitimate options. If something seems to be too good to be true and isn’t from a source you completely trust, do some more homework. That is why we are here to help you - as always, our business counseling is free to you.”

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