Kent County officials will use federal COVID-19 relief funding to waive food licensing fees this year for all existing food establishments in the county, saving the average restaurant about $500.
Following the same move a year ago, the Kent County Board of Commissioners approved the one-time waiver that will apply to all 2,372 licensed food service establishments. The $1.2 million used to cover the revenue comes from the county’s $127 million share from the American Rescue Plan Act.
“We understand that restaurants are a major driver of our economy, and many establishments are still struggling to recover from the economic setbacks caused by the pandemic,” Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Stan Stek said in a statement. “We trust this fee waiver will provide much-needed support to keep these businesses going and ensure that they can continue to serve our community.”
Annual renewal applications will be mailed out to food establishments by March 11. Businesses must submit the applications by April 30 to ensure they remain licensed.
“The restaurant business has always presented challenges and the pandemic made everything even harder,” Abby McClure, general manager at Walker Roadhouse, said in a statement. “We are grateful that our Kent County Commissioners voted to use these funds to help alleviate some of the pandemic related challenges we are still facing. We are very proud of the role that Walker Roadhouse plays in our community and we look forward to being here for many years for our customers, family, and friends.”