Kent County waives 2021 foodservice licensing fees

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The Kent County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to waive the 2021 foodservice licensing fee for all existing food establishments in Kent County due to the significant hardship food establishments have experienced with closures and capacity limitations related to COVID‐19.

“Our restaurant owners and employees are hurting; they are among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Mandy Bolter, Kent County board chair. “The board of commissioners felt very strongly about waiving this fee as one small way to provide meaningful assistance where possible.”

The one‐time waiver will apply to the 2,294 existing food establishments — permanent, fixed, temporary, special transitory food units or mobile — in Kent County that would otherwise be required to pay their annual licensing and inspection fee by April 30.

While licensing and inspection fees are being waived, all restaurants still are required to submit a renewal application by April 30. The application will ensure establishments remain licensed during the 2021‐22 operating period. If an establishment does not intend to renew its license, the application still should be returned but include a signed note requesting its license be canceled. Food establishments should expect to receive a renewal application from the health department within the next two weeks.

“The health department has worked tirelessly with our restaurants and bars over the last year to adapt to evolving regulations and occupancy restrictions,” Kent County Health Department Director Dr. Adam London said. “We are keenly aware of the challenges facing these establishments, and we appreciate the board providing this financial relief as they continue to weather the impacts of the pandemic.”

Restaurant owners with questions should contact the Kent County Health Department, Environmental Health Division at (616) 632‐6900 or KCEHMail@kentcountymi.gov.

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