In an effort to provide relief to small local businesses suffering from the economic downturn brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District Board of Directors has suspended collecting its annual operating permit fee from local small businesses for the next year.
Announced during the board's meeting on June 24, the suspension of fees goes into effect immediately and will continue through June 30, 2021 -- a move district officials hope will help ease the some of the economic burden felt by local businesses.
"We recognize that many of our small businesses are really struggling to stay afloat as a result of the shutdown, and we as a fire district do not want to add to that struggle. We hope that suspending the annual fire operating permit fee for the next year will provide a little economic relief and help with their recovery," SRVFPD Board Vice President Matt Stamey said in a statement.
District officials did note that fire inspection will still occur to make sure spaces are as safe as possible; however, the businesses affected will not be billed for the inspection services as is usually the practice.
Additionally, the district added that the suspension of fees and charges "does not apply to governmental agencies, utilities or large commercial establishments such as big-box or national retailers, nor does it apply to fees for development related services."