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El Paso County, CO – 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 at its meeting this morning to waive 2021 license fees for full-service retail food establishments (RFE), bars, and taverns in El Paso County.
The Board’s action was made possible by Senate Bill 20B-001, which was signed into law in December 2020 and aims to help alleviate the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry. With the passing of this bill, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment directed local counties to waive the license renewal fee for specific license types to include full-service restaurants (zero to 200+ seats), bars, and taverns.
This bill provides financial assistance to 1,568 (57%) of the 2,733 RFEs in El Paso County, resulting in 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 suffer critical negative impacts from the capacity and indoor dining restrictions imposed by state public health orders.
Background and additional information
Timelines and next steps