Provincial Council increases aid to deal with economic impact of COVID-19

Financial aid to economic sectors in the province increases from 6 to 9 million euros.

Wednesday 20th January 2021 | Xàbia AL DIA

The Provincial Council of Alicante will be increasing by 50% the financial assistance to the self-employed, small to medium businesses and professionals in the province. The package of grants, which will be distributed to all the municipalities, is now worth 9 million euros, and is intended to minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, especially in the most affected areas, such as the hospitality sector.

Sebastián Cañadas (Economic Development) announced the measure in a statement and has appealed to the consensus of all groups of the provincial council for its approval when a Board of Representatives is convened in the next few days.

The provincial official also regretted that the Generalitat has not yet activated the aid announced last week, pointing out that all the proposals launched in the last year from the Provincial Council of Alicante to deal with the health, social, and economic emergencies of the pandemic have moved forward unanimously.

The nine millions euros of provincial aid will be distributed across the 141 municipalities of the province according to population, as done in 2020, and it will be the town halls who will be charge of processing and distributing the aid amongst the possible beneficiaries. Special attention will be paid to sectors such as the hospitality and leisure industry, some of the most affected by the crisis, whilst the rise in fixed costs such as insurance, self-employment fees and energy bills, etc. will also be taken into account.

Thus, the aid might be used to pay the rent on commercial businesses, to cover consulting and advisory expenses, water, electricity, and the amortization of loans for the acquisition of business premises and commercial vehicles.

Generalitat Valenciana Fund Delay

Cañadas has also shown his “puzzlement” to the fact that a week after the Generalitat Valenciana announced the launch of an aid package for the hospitality sector, in which the provincial councils, town halls, and regional administration participated in its development, “nothing has been done yet and they have not even sent us a draft of this plan. It is something totally incomprehensible”.

“The meeting in which they set out the concept of this fund to us was already considered hasty and not very specific and, days later, we still do not know anything about the distribution criteria, the form of financing or the terms,” said Cañadas, who has regretted that “the Generalitat does not work with the speed required by a situation as dramatic as the one our hospitality sector is experiencing, who, as of tomorrow, will face a total closure with the consequent losses that this will entail and that will be added to those which they have been dragging from the beginning of the pandemic ”.

Despite the “apathy” of the Generalitat, Cañadas revealed that the Provincial Council of Alicante, which will participate 30% in the financing of the subsidies, has already activated all the mechanisms to make the aid available to the self-employed and SMEs at the time the Generalitat launches it.

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