THE Valencian regional government has announced a €340 million bailout plan for small businesses and self-employed workers to help mitigate the disastrous economic effects of COVID-19.

President Ximo Puig unveiled the ‘Plan Resiste’ this week, aimed at saving those sectors that have been most affected by the restrictions enforced due to the pandemic, and ranging from grants to bonified credits, depending on each case.   

The aid plan was reportedly drawn up and agreed by the Generalitat, trades unions and the employers’ board, and is expected to benefit 21,000 companies and 43,000 Valencian autonomos, or self-employed workers – always the worst hit due to their high tax obligations and lack of benefits, social coverage or employment rights.

More specifically, the financial support will target four sectors that have suffered the most due to the mobility restrictions enforced by the authorities as a result of COVID.

The hospitality sector has been one of the worst-hit by the restrictions
The hospitality sector has been one of the worst-hit by the restrictions

These include hotels and restaurants, tourism – tourist lets, travel agents, tour operators and reservation services – nightlife and artistic activities such as live music and theatre.

Official figures show that these trades account for 30% of the total loss of income due to the pandemic and 59% of job losses in the Valencian Community.

Up to €280 million will come from the EU rescue funds, as the Valencia region is entitled to receive €1.2 billion of the total €8 billion assigned to Spain.

Possibly the most significant – and vital – part of the aid package involves €8 million in direct grants for autonomos whose employment ceased completely or whose income was drastically reduced.

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