• Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

El Paso County Board of Health Waives Retail Food Establishment Licensing Fees for 2021


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A message adorns the windows of a reopened Mexican restaurant to sit in as a customer settles into a booth Friday, May 29, 2020 in Denver. Restaurants are slowly reopening to customers after restrictions put in place to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus were lifted last Wednesday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. – In an effort to provide economic relief to local restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the El Paso County Board of Health voted unanimously Wednesday to waive fees for 2021 License for Full-Service Retail Food Establishments (RFEs), Bars and Taverns in El Paso County.

The Council’s action was made possible by Senate Bill 20B-001, which was signed into law in December 2020 and is intended to help mitigate the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry. With the passage of this bill, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment directed local counties to waive license renewal fees for specific license types to include full-service restaurants. full (from zero to 200+ seats), bars and taverns.

Local impact

This bill provides financial assistance to 1,568 (57%) of El Paso County’s 2,733 RFEs, representing over $620,000 in waived fees.

RFEs that were not included in this waiver include grocery stores, convenience stores, mobile units, and businesses with limited food preparation that are not bars or taverns. The state legislature had determined that these types of businesses were less likely to experience the critical negative impacts of capacity and indoor dining restrictions imposed by state public health orders.

Background and additional information

  • Retail food licenses are renewed annually with fee amounts determined by their license category.
    • License categories are established at the time of initial license issuance.
    • Reduced capacity due to COVID-19 does not lead to a license change.

Timelines and next steps

  • Establishments that received fee waivers will receive a letter outlining this information with their license by April.
  • For establishments that did not receive a fee waiver and must pay for their license renewal, the payment deadline has been extended to March 31, 2021 and these establishments have received notification letters.
  • All 2020 licenses have been extended to cover the backlog in license distribution.

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