SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- As thousands of San Francisco businesses remain closed due to COVID-19 and with future reopening dates still in limbo, city officials on Tuesday announced extended deadlines and fee deferrals for business owners.
Under the new measures, Unified License Fees and Business Registration Fees for businesses will be deferred to March 1, 2021.
When the pandemic first began in, Mayor London Breed and city Treasurer Jose Cisneros moved to extend the Unified License Fees and Business Registration Fees deadlines from March to May 31, 2020. In April, Breed and Cisneros again extended the deadlines to Sept. 30, 2020.
But as the city continues to see a high volume of cases, resulting in reopening being pushed back indefinitely, Breed said another extension was necessary to help business scrambling to survive.
"Businesses in San Francisco continue to struggle with a loss of revenue and unfortunately we know that the COVID-19 pandemic isn't going away any time soon," Breed said in a statement. "When we initially issued the deferral of these fees, we were optimistic the situation would improve and businesses would be in a better financial position, but the lack of a coordinated federal response to the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. Continuing to defer the collection of these fees will provide some relief for business as we keep working with them to help them stay afloat and take care of their employees."
"I've heard from many businesses that were concerned about paying these bills by Sept. 30. I am hopeful that further delaying collections of the business registration and license fees will provide some needed relief," Cisneros said. "We will continue to work with businesses to find ways to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic."
With the deadlines extended, Business Registration Certificates issued for 2019-20 will remain valid through March 1, 2021. The extended deadline translates into $49 million in deferrals for some 89,000 city businesses.
The deferral of Unified Licensing Fees, which are charges from city departments like the Entertainment Commission, Police Department, Fire Department, and Public Health Department to restaurants and food businesses, bars, convenience stores, hotels, tour operators, and small retailers, translates to $14 million in deferrals for 11,000 businesses, according to Breed's office.
Businesses and workers seeking resources and updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to visit www.oewd.org/covid19.
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