April 7, 2021
Posted: April 7, 2021
Updated: 9:41 pm
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The county regulator unanimously approved waiver of fees for the event industry – planners, venues and providers – as a relaxation of event restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said today.
During their meeting on Tuesday, regulators voted to waive approval fees for fiscal year 2021-22 from the Department of Environmental Health and Quality, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the San Diego County Fire Department .
Helen Robbins-Meyer, the county’s chief administration officer, will return within 30 days with a resolution including the fee waiver as part of the board’s regularly scheduled COVID-19 update.
“Today the hardworking San Diegans in the events industry can breathe a sigh of relief,” said CEO Nathan Fletcher. “We are excited to support these companies and look forward to returning family-friendly events to San Diego County.”
Fletcher recently said that the events industry “has suffered a tremendous economic blow from the pandemic. Unlike other sectors that have been able to operate with limited capacity and generate revenue, they have not been able to do so due to protection at large gatherings. “
According to the San Diego Association of Governments, the conventions and special events industry brought 2.7 million visitors and $ 3.5 billion in spending to San Diego in 2019.
“As restrictions on events are relaxed, the events industry deserves financial support,” continued Fletcher.
Laurel McFarlane, president of the San Diego Event Coalition, said Fletcher has been working with the SDEC on the issue since last year.
“Events are about people – the human connections they make, the nonprofit programs they support, the awareness and traffic they generate, and most of all, the individuals behind the scenes who depend on events. to make a living, “said McFarlane. “It often felt like the industry and its people had been forgotten.”
SDEC membership spawns some of the largest annual events in San Diego including the Chula Vista Harborfest, San Diego Pride, So Cal Taco Fest, Art Walk, San Diego County Fair, San Diego Diner En Blanc, the Gator By the Bay, La Mesa Oktoberfest and others.
If the guideline is met, Fletcher’s office estimates the expected impact on San Diego County’s revenue to be in excess of $ 1.13 million for the DEHQ, $ 400,000 for the DPR, and $ 118,280 for the Sheriff’s Department and $ 6,000 for the San Diego County Fire Authority.
Pending US Treasury Department guidelines, the funds will be funded from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Laurel McFarlane, owner of McFarlane Promotions and President of the San Diego Event Coalition, discussed this new development with KUSI.