City Council Serves Up “Restaurant Relief,” Removing A Burdensome Regulation For Local Businesses
Faulconer: Government regulation putting “too many cooks in the kitchen”
When was the last time you heard of the police breaking up a rowdy dance party at Liberty Station’s Corvette Diner? Probably never, but this family restaurant was required to obtain a $3,000 entertainment permit from the Police Department for the right to feature live entertainment (in this case, a DJ spinning 1950’s records and announcing children’s birthday parties).
Kevin Faulconer, City Council President Pro Tem and enemy of unnecessary regulations, worked with the Police Department to create a “Restaurant Relief” exemption for family restaurants.
This simple entertainment permit exemption can boost restaurants’ bottom line, making it easier to hire entertainers, attract customers, and, hopefully, hire more employees to meet increased demand. The results could be big: restaurants have been the number one sales tax generator for the City for the past two years.
With support of Mayor Sanders, Council President Young and Councilmembers Zapf and Alvarez, the Council passed “Restaurant Relief” unanimously this week.
Here’s the news release from yesterday:
For Immediate Release
November 9, 2011
Contact: Matt Awbrey – (619) 929-0089
San Diego Reduces The Bill For Restaurants
Council approves “Restaurant Relief” measure to cut red tape for local businesses
SAN DIEGO — City Council yesterday unanimously approved a “Restaurant Relief” ordinance that will aid family restaurants by rolling back requirements for costly entertainment permits. City regulations had been making it difficult and expensive for restaurants to offer live entertainment – a key factor in attracting customers and strengthening local business.
City Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer worked with the Police Department and restaurant owners to craft new rules that are fair, cost neutral for tax payers and supportive of local businesses.
“We all know that having too many cooks in the kitchen creates inefficiencies, wasting time and money. Requiring the Police Department to regulate entertainment in family restaurants is a classic example of unnecessary government red tape,” said Faulconer. “I thank Mayor Sanders and my Council colleagues for joining me to get City Hall ‘out of the kitchen,’ and letting restaurants focus on serving and entertaining their customers.”
A burdensome rule had required family restaurants that wanted to feature amplified music – such as a singer or guitarist – to abide by the same strict regulations as nightclubs and bars. Restaurant Relief’s simple exemption can save a small business thousands of dollars per year, creating a positive impact on its bottom line and facilitating job creation. Fees would range from $1,500 to nearly $4,000 depending on an establishment’s maximum occupancy.
The ordinance can also help support San Diego’s tax base. Restaurants have been the number one sales tax generator for the City for the past two years.
“We applaud Mayor Jerry Sanders, the San Diego City Council and the San Diego Police Department for introducing the Entertainment Permit Fee Exemption proposal,” stated Mike Morton Jr., President of the San Diego Chapter of the California Restaurant Association “This new policy will greatly benefit restaurants that have struggled during this economic downturn and allow them to focus on what’s important: job creation and opportunities for growth.”
The City Council voted Tuesday to introduce a one year trial entertainment permit exemption that applies only to bona fide restaurants that meet the following criteria:
o No admission charge
o No drink minimum
o No customer dancing
o Closed between 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
“San Diego is becoming a model example of government and businesses working together in a nonpartisan effort to improve the economy,” said Councilmember Lorie Zapf.
“This ordinance will serve up much-needed regulatory relief to many restaurants during these uncertain economic times,” said Council President Tony Young. “The City Council will continue in the months and year ahead to look at revising and reducing many burdensome rules and regulations to help small businesses start-up, expand and add more local jobs.”
He encouraged the San Diego business and economic community to attend a special Regulatory Relief Workshop on Monday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. and let the City Council know about specific ways to cut red tape, streamline permitting processes and reduce rules and regulations to help firms survive, thrive and hire additional workers.