VENTURA, CA – To help address the financial impact on businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the County Board voted unanimously to waive service rates and fees for many County services. The Resource Management Agency and Fire Protection District will be reducing or waiving certain fees, late fees and penalties. This waiving of fees will save businesses approximately $1.65 million.
“Our Board of Supervisors asked how we can support businesses. We hope that by waiving or reducing fees our business community will have some relief from the challenging impacts of the pandemic,” said County Executive Officer, Mike Powers.
The Resource Management Agency (RMA) will be reducing fees to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have taken to heart the financial impact of COVID-19 on our local businesses and with the support of our Board of Supervisors, we can now offer a 25% fee reduction to those businesses who have experienced financial hardships such as our restaurants, organized camps, packing houses and manufacturing industries. We want to come along side our local business community and offer these reductions, as well as late fee waivers, to support them during these difficult times,” said Resource Management Agency Director Kim Prillhart.
The Ventura County Fire District will also waive fees for the inspections they provide at Long Term Care Facilities, hotels, apartments and temporary tents that restaurants have set up for additional seating. “Our community has always supported its Fire Department. This is a small way that we can support our businesses that have been financially devastated by the COVID crisis,” said County of Ventura Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen.
Businesses needing additional assistance are encouraged to apply for the Business Assistance Program. The Program includes grants of $5,000 each for small businesses to alleviate impacts from COVID-19 for allowed uses such as payroll support, rent and lease payments, costs for personal protective equipment, purchases related to the operation of their businesses, and extraordinary business expenses for adhering to compliance protocols for reopening.
Eligible businesses will have a business license in the County of Ventura, be in place prior to September 1, 2019, annual revenue between $25,000 and $2 million, and evidence of negative impacts from COVID-19. Businesses apply at www.vcemergency.com/vc-reopens and priority will be given to those that did not receive an SBA loan. Businesses must be registered to reopen. If there are more applicants than available grants, then a lottery process will be conducted to distribute the grants. The selections process will also incorporate a weighted distribution of funding based on population of Ventura County cities and unincorporated areas.
The Resource Management Agency comprises Environmental Health, Planning Division, Building and Safety, Code Compliance - Building and Land Use Enforcement and Weights and Measures, RMA Operations and RMA GIS. https://vcrma.org/ .
The mission of the Ventura County Fire Department is to anticipate and respond to the dynamic public safety needs of a diverse community. This includes more than 480,000 people in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County and seven of its cities: Ojai, Port Hueneme, Moorpark, Camarillo, Santa Paula, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks. https://vcfd.org/