ORANGE COUNTY – This week Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley and her colleagues on the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to provide credits and rebates to local restaurants whose business operations were curtailed by state and local health orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our thriving restaurant industry is an indispensable component of our flourishing local economy,” said Supervisor Foley. “Great restaurants provide meaningful work and purpose to thousands of our residents, and I’m thrilled that we can provide additional financial relief to our hardworking local business owners.”
“Our restaurants showcase the thriving and diverse communities that comprise Orange County today. They make Orange County the best place to live, work, and play. I will continue to be an enthusiastic advocate for our small business owners.” Supervisor Foley added.
The Board-approved plan is part of a $1.7 million litigation settlement reached with restaurants that sued the County over the payment of inspection fees collected by the Environmental Health Division of the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to $1.273 million of the settlement will be refunded/credited to local restaurants that paid permit fees to HCA.
Restaurants will be provided credits and rebates based on the following criteria:
- Restaurants that paid annual permit fees between March 17, 2020, to June 15, 2021, and are still in business, will receive a credit against future permit fees.
- Restaurants that paid annual permit fees between March 17, 2020, to June 15, 2021, but are no longer in business, will receive a reimbursement payment.
- Restaurants that did not pay annual permit fees (i.e., took advantage of the County’s fee deferral program) will receive a credit against fees owed.
The fee relief for local restaurants approved by the Board of Supervisors adds to the more than $3 million in small business grants and other direct financial support that the County has already provided to local industry. Previously, as the “caretaker” for Santa Ana, Supervisor Foley provided business interruption grants of up to $20,000 to small businesses adversely impacted by construction of the OC StreetCar. Supervisor Foley also held OC Live in 2022, a concert series hosted at local restaurants that benefitted local musicians and business owners.
The fee credits and rebates to restaurants approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will be processed by the Environmental Health Division of HCA over the next 12 months.
For further details regarding the restaurant fee credit program, please contact Orange County Environmental Health at (714) 433-6000.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2.
Supervisor Foley serves on the Airport Ad Hoc Committee & Fly Friendly working group, the Sober Living Home Ad Hoc Committee, and boards of the Orange County Transportation Authority, CalOptima, Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, Law Library, Newport Bay & South Orange County Watershed Management Area Executive Committees & the Santa Ana River Flood Control Protection.