Ximo Puig announces 160 million euro fund to help businesses affected by COVID-19

Grants of up to 10,000 euros will be available to beneficiaries of the plan.

Thursday 21st January 2021 | MIKE SMITH

The president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, has announced that the Paréntesis aid package, aimed at the self-employed and micro-businesses in the sectors most affected by the restrictions that have been necessary to face the COVID-19 pandemic, will be worth some 160 million euros.

The president made the announcement after presiding over the meeting of the institutional table made up of the mayors of Valencia, Alicante and Elche, the mayor of Castelló, those responsible for the three provincial councils and the president of the Valencian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces in which the new financial aid has been agreed.

The president pointed out that the Paréntesis aid package aims to “help the most affected sectors to overcome this activity hiatus”, and is the result of “collaboration, dialogue and agreement” between the Generalitat Valenciana, the councils and the municipalities, in their common cause to overcome the pandemic and reactivate the economy.

The package, which will be approved in the plenary session of the Consell tomorrow Friday through a decree Law, constitutes one of the first measures to be implemented within the Plan Resistir, for which a total of 380 million euros had been put aside to “minimize damage to the sectors most vulnerable to restrictions adopted for the good of all.”

Puig acknowledged that the latest restrictions – which came into force today Thursday – “are especially painful” due to their great impact on companies, freelancers and workers in accommodation and tourist activities; hotels, restaurants and nightlife; creative, artistic and entertainment activities, and sports, recreational and entertainment activities.

For this reason, he has indicated that it is necessary to “inject the resources for those most affected”, arbitrating aid with their own funds, the State or the European Union.

Increase in the contribution of the Generalitat

During his speech, the president explained that the Paréntesis package will amount to 160 million euros, compared to the 120 initially announced, “thanks to an additional effort that the Generalitat is going to make”, which will allow it to increase its participation by 40 million more, so that finally the regional administration will contribute 100 million euros.

Regarding the provincial councils, their contribution will be 36 million, in proportion to the number of self-employed, companies and workers they have in their province, and the municipalities, for their part, will contribute with 24 million euros. In this way, 62.5% of the total will be provided by the Generalitat, 22.5% by the councils and 15% by the town councils.

The management of it will be carried out through the municipalities, which will have a period of 15 days, from the publication of the decree Law, to present their request for participation, which “will activate the deployment of the aid,” said Puig.

Grants of up to 10,000 euros per beneficiary

The president has explained that the assistance will consist of direct aid of 2,000 euros for each self-employed person or micro-business in the most affected sectors, which will be increased by an additional 200 euros per employee under its charge. He has also ensured that the amount that each beneficiary will receive may reach a maximum of 10,000 euros. In addition, he has stressed that they will be destined to cover current expenses of business activity from April 2020, that is, from the beginning of the pandemic.

He added that it is estimated that of the 160 million, the sectors in Alicante receive 65.3 million euros; those of Castelló, 18.6 million, and those of València, 76 million.

It is also expected that the approximate number of beneficiaries will be 45,000 self-employed and 23,000 companies, with 136,000 linked workers.

Plan Resistir

Finally, the president explained that, after the increase in the contribution of the Generalitat, the Plan Resistir amounts to a total of 380 million to help companies, self-employed and workers to face the restrictions that come into force today, especially for the hospitality, tourism, leisure and artistic and cultural activities.

It should be remembered that the emergency plan is divided into four blocks: direct aid to companies, the self-employed and workers affected by ERTE; specific aid for sectors with sustained damage throughout the pandemic; new financial instruments of the Valencian Institute of Finance (IVF); and the municipal cooperation fund, presented today under the name Paréntesis aid package, agreed with the councils and municipalities.

In addition to the Paréntesis aid package, it should be remembered that within this shock plan the Horeca package has already been launched, endowed with 50 million euros, consisting of subsidized loans designed by the Valencian Institute of Finance (IVF) with non-refundable tranches up to 30%. This is a new line of financing for which beneficaries will obtain credits of between 15,000 and 750,000 euros that include direct non-refundable aid of up to 60,750 euros, and which can be requested from Thursday.