KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Quinton Lucas is proposing a plan to ease the costs to do business in the city, potentially saving some businesses hundreds of dollars.
The service industry and other small businesses have a variety of fees they need to pay to operate in Kansas City. Business licenses, liquor cards and restaurant inspection fees are all recurring expenses, some costing hundreds of dollars. This plan would defer, decrease or, in some situations, waive these fees.
An Zebley owns and runs YUM a boutique bakery. The proposal was her idea.
“For me, I’m on the lower end because I’m so small. My fee is about $400… Right now, that’s a utility payment for me,” Zebley said.
Zebley described some of her woes amid the pandemic, including staffing and contracting the virus. She said her one employee went back home to Texas after college classes went virtual. Then, Zebley contracted COVID-19.
“I got COVID in July. I was out for three weeks. I had to close,” she said. “I’m a COVID long-hauler,” describing how she has to use an inhaler daily to maintain her breath. “It’s been four months.”
She said she asked the mayor on social media if some business fees, like the ones she had coming due on Dec. 31, could be alleviated.
“It’s not lost on us that there are lots businesses in Kansas City that have not been able to survive this current crisis,” Lucas said. “We understand that this is a time where we are all operating with fewer resources.”
Leaders in the service industry applauded the proposal.
“The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association supports Mayor Lucas’s resolution to review fees charged to businesses,” Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association executive director Bill Teel said in a statement. “Any relief that can be provided to our Kansas City restaurants is both welcomed and needed.”
The proposal will be introduced during the next City Council meeting on Thursday, Dec. 3. If passed, it would go into effect before 2021, Lucas said.
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