Friday 26th March 2021 | XÀBIA AL DÍA; translation MIKE SMITH
The Alicante Provincial Council plans to approve the authorization of the expenditure of the PLAN RESISTER aid package today Friday to support the hospitality, leisure, and other sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The approval will provide 14.7 million euros of funding that the provincial council will be contributing to this package which will reach municipalities throughout the month of April.
Eduardo Dolón (Presidency & Economy) explained that once the use of the surplus has been authorized and entered into force, “the provincial council will approve the release of the funds so that, once the required accounting procedures have been done, the money can be distributed by the town halls to the beneficiaries“.
In this sense, he added that “it will be processed as quickly as possible but this type of initiative entails certain procedures that must be fulfilled and that can take time“. The provincial council contribution represents 22.5% of the plan, in which, in addition to the regional government, the municipalities themselves will be contributing.
Economic Development Aid
During the plenary session – which will be held by videoconference – approval is also expected to be given to the proposal for an aid package by the Department of Economic Development and Productive Sectors for which some 1.5 million euros will be set aside. The modernization of markets, the promotion of agriculture, the sustainability of the rural environment, the holding of trade fairs and events, and the creation and maintenance of urban gardens are all projects that will be subsidized by the package. Responsible councillor Sebastián Cañadas said that “the Provincial Countil intends to promote employment and provide an economic boost to our municipalities, especially in these complicated times“.
It was also indicated the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be taken into account in the distribution of aid as well as the Sustainable Development Objectives aware of the repercussions that local actions will have on the planet.
“Now, more than ever, we must continue to promote all those actions that contribute to boosting the local economy and generating employment and, in a special way, this year we want to do so with a sustainable perspective. For this reason, we have adapted the initiatives to the objectives of Agenda 2030, which brings together an action plan in favour of people, the planet and prosperity.”
The initiatives have been adjusted to the “changing situation” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, planning to subsidize new actions against the imposed restrictions on movement and “to support municipalities to carry out actions online, offer security and protection in events, in markets or in public spaces of the urban gardens”.
The Provincial Council has also put aside some 700,000 euros to assist municipalities with fairs and other commercial events, taking into account the circumstances imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and has included new concepts that are in line with the reality of the current situation. Some of the funding will be provided to held with the rental of stalls and the advertising and promotion of the event as well as the promotion of local regional products, Christmas lighting, the rental of digital platforms to hold virtual fairs, and meeting the current expenses related to capacity control.
New concepts have also been incorporated into the subsidy plan for the modernization of markets, for which 175,000 euros has been put aside, 25,000 euros more than last year, such as projects aimed at improving the sustainability and modernization of infrastructure, the installation of environmentally sustainable equipment (the installation of cold equipment, fire-fighting equipment and lighting with an energy efficiency certificate), the purchase and installation of counters, display cabinets and other COVID-19 protection elements as well as the adoption of resilient and quality technologies.
In terms of economic promotion, for the first time funding of some 300,000 euros will be provided for the development of directories listing companies, professionals, local services and activities, course, conference and forum organisations that promote economic revival, business consolidation and digital transformation of SMEs and micro-SMEs, online training for the unemployed or business people as well as innovative projects in the field of economic resilience, promotion and local development.
The Provincial Council is also providing 150,000 euros to promotion the agricultural and rural environment, providing new funding for initiatives such as training for the digitization of the agricultural sector, the costs or renting machinery for the crushing of plant residues that will be offered to farmers and the hiring of groups to carry out agricultural cleaning, as well as the promotion of the Municipal Agrarian Council.
Finally, some 75,000 of funding has been set aside for municipal urban gardens, double last year’s budget, whilst 147,000 euros has been provided for investment in items such as bicycle racks and lockers meeting COVID-19 health protocol requirements.
Click below to read the original article in Spanish on Xàbia AL DÍA