Only a month has passed since the Government approved direct aid for 7,000 million to companies and the self-employed most affected by the pandemic, of which 142.5 million correspond to the Region in the distribution. These funds have not yet begun to be disbursed, but they already recognize that they fell short in the list of activities they proposed, leaving out some such as hairdressers, driving schools, the footwear industry and the wine sector, also very affected.
As Minister Calviño announced on Monday, the Council of Ministers approved yesterday the modification of the royal decree law promoted on March 12 so that new sectors can aspire to receive these public aid and that companies with losses already in 2019 (remembering the tourists affected by the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook) are also eligible for this assistance. The novelty is that now it will be the autonomous communities that will decide which companies benefit from it, beyond the list of 95 subsectors published by the BOE a few weeks ago.
Of course, these companies must meet the same criteria to qualify for the aid as those included in the first list. The main requirement is to have suffered a drop in billing of at least 30% compared to the 2019 figures, something that the Tax Agency will certify. These funds will cover up to 40% of the loss for micro-SMEs (up to 10 employees) and the self-employed, and 20% for other companies. In this way, they will receive non-refundable grants of between 3,000 and 200,000 euros
From the Ministry of Economic Affairs they explain to this newspaper that the only changes established by the modification of the royal decree is that it is the communities that can choose the most affected sectors in their region and that need this aid, as well as that the losses could have occurred in 2019, not only in 2020 as the first text indicated. All other allocation criteria and obligations to be fulfilled by the benefited companies remain the same.
An answer in each region
Among the obligations, the final destination of the aid stands out, since they will have to pay fixed expenses such as salaries or leases, debts with suppliers or entities (accumulated since March 2020), as well as the payment of electricity supplies.
The Region is the third community that receives the least money in the calculation per inhabitant, with only 95 euros, well below the 129 of the Valencian Community or the 148.85 of the national average. The receipt of the funds will also imply the adoption by the employers of the obligation to maintain their activity until June 30, 2022 at least, not to distribute dividends or increase the salaries of their management team for a period of two years and that are up to date with their tax and Social Security payments.
The Minister of Finance and Government spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, assured after the Council of Ministers that although the Executive identified almost a hundred sectors affected by the crisis, they are “fully aware” that each community has “specific characteristics” that require of “personalized responses.” As an example, he put the footwear or wine sector, very important in some regions – as happens in Murcia – and that now with this modification of the royal decree can be incorporated.
The funds will be managed by the autonomies, as was previously ratified. Last Friday they received the agreement from the Ministry of Finance, which they must now sign to receive the corresponding transfer within ten days from the delivery of the document. Montero revealed that at the moment only Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha have sent the signed agreement, and that they will sign it for publication in the BOE thus activating its disbursement.
Some sectors complain that the amount contributed is not nearly enough to mitigate the losses of the companies. This is the case of the tourism sector, from the Exceltur business ‘lobby’ they show their surprise that only 41% of the activities included in the list belong to the tourism branches, since they have been the most affected by the pandemic, and criticize that Yes, activities such as the manufacture of fiber optic cables or the repair of watches and jewelry have been taken into account, businesses that have suffered a much smaller drop in sales.
#Executive #opens #direct #aid #sectors #footwear #wine