GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Restaurant owners are getting some relief after the Kent County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to waive this year’s food service licensing fee for all existing food establishments in the county.
“Our restaurant owners and employees are hurting – they are among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” Kent County Board Chair Mandy Bolter said. “The Board of Commissioners felt very strongly about waiving this fee as one small way to provide meaningful assistance where possible.”
This 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.
Although these fees are being waived, all restaurants still need to submit a renewal application by that date.
The application will ensure establishments remain licensed during the 2021-22 operating period.
If an establishment doesn’t intend to renew its license, the application should still be returned but should include a signed note asking for the license to be canceled.
Food establishments should expect to receive a renewal application from the Kent County 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,” Director 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 may contact the Kent County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division at 616-6900.