Today the Common Council was unanimous in approving a measure that will immediately suspend all license fees for licenses issued by the Office of the City Clerk. The Council resolution language (an amendment offered by Alderman Robert Bauman) will free the owners of thousands of small businesses across Milwaukee from paying license fees for many different types of licenses that are required to operate legally within the city limits.

The resolution for immediate adoption was needed to ratify the proclamation of Mayor Barrett, issued March 19, 2020, declaring a state of emergency in the City of Milwaukee to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Council’s ratification of the emergency proclamation also included the suspension of parking enforcement for the duration of the emergency — added largely due to the advocacy of Alderman Khalif Rainey.

The immediate suspension of license fees will be in effect during the full duration of the state of emergency.

It is important for all of us to do what we can to be kind and to treat others with respect and understanding during this challenging “new normal” that we are all trying to adjust to. The Council saw the opportunity to suspend license fees as one small way it could exert its authority to help support the thousands of small businesses (and their thousands of employees) that we all rely on during normal times.

I encourage everyone to reach out and offer support of any kind to Milwaukee businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

That support will be welcomed and it is needed now more than ever.

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