SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – As San Francisco’s indoor bars and nightclubs remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor London Breed on Monday announced the city will provide $2.5 million for the city’s entertainment and nightlife industry.

The funds will be used to waive business and license registration fees and taxes for some 300 nightlife businesses, as recommended by the city’s Economic Recovery Task Force.

“We need to do more to support those businesses that contribute to San Francisco’s unique and vibrant culture, which is a cornerstone for our economic recovery as a city,” Breed said in a statement. “As we recover and keep up our progress on reopening, we want to make sure these businesses are still around to bring music, performances and excitement, as well as provide jobs for so many.

“Entertainment and nightlife are such an important part of why people live and visit our city, and we hope these additional fee waivers reduce some of the financial stress they’re experiencing,” she said.

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“When San Francisco faces an incredible challenge, the entire community pulls together,” Treasurer Jose Cisneros said. “This tax and fee relief will remove a looming burden from many businesses who’ve been shuttered by COVID-19.”

According to Breed, although businesses like music venues, clubs, bars and restaurants with live performers remain closed, those businesses are still required to pay certain license and business registration fees and taxes. Eligible businesses include those that have gross receipts of less than $20 million.

Under the relief, 300 businesses will have their regulatory license and business registration fees waived for two years, and the business’ payroll expense tax will also be waived for this year.

“Our entertainment venues are a large part of the reason people flock to San Francisco and rave about our culture,” President of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission Ben Bleiman said. “They are also particularly vulnerable during these times due to their business models. We must do all we can to support these businesses, so that we have places to be able to come together once we’re able to come together again.”

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