Newport Beach Waives License Fees for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

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By a unanimous vote of the City Council on Tuesday, March 23, Newport Beach will waive annual business license taxes for businesses within the City that were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic by order of the State.

The one-year waiver applies for business license tax renewals processed between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.

The temporary tax waiver is one of the ways the City is helping support local businesses as they begin to emerge from the pandemic, said Mayor Brad Avery. In addition to the waiver, the City has administered several small business grant programs and launched a marketing support partnership with Newport Beach and Co.

“The Council is looking carefully at everything we can do to help Newport Beach businesses get back on their feet after such a difficult and challenging year,” Avery said. “We hope that waiving business license fees for one year will provide some measure of relief.”

The waiver will apply to about 1,850 “commercially based” businesses, of 9,000 such businesses in Newport Beach (about 25,000 businesses have City permits, including home-based businesses and those doing business in the City but located elsewhere). Commercially based businesses include retail stores, hair and beauty shops, gyms and fitness centers, restaurants and bars, museums and art galleries, and private schools.

The program is expected to result in a revenue loss to the City of about $660,000 and cost about $7,000 in State fees, both of which will be offset through a prior year budget surplus.

To qualify, a business would have had to close at least once during the pandemic and could not offer its services virtually.

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