The Junta de Andalucía has approved a plan to grant 1,000 euros of direct aid for small businesses and self-employed workers in the commerce, artisan production, hospitality and travel agency sectors that have all suffered heavily during the Covid-19 health crisis.
The 46.1-million-euro fund is designed to particularly help businesses that have been severely hit by pandemic control measures to continue trading.
National, regional and municipal restrictions on trading hours, capacity restrictions, the compliance with hygiene measures and, of course, a general reduction in footfall because of mobility restrictions have all combined to create a critical situation for many small businesses.
There will be two lines of grants, financed with European funds. The first is for the retail and artisan sector with a budget of 26.4 million, and the second line, 19.7 million euros, will benefit the Andalusian hospitality industry which includes accommodation establishments, tourism, travel agencies and catering businesses.
Grants of a thousand euros will be awarded in the order of the applications received until the assigned fund is exhausted.
To qualify for the aid, the small business / self-employed person must be fiscally registered in Andalucía, have been carrying out the business activity before 14 March 2020 and have worked continuously until the start day of the period for submitting aid applications. Applicants must also be able to prove a drop in sales or income of at least 20 per cent caused by Covid-19 in the 2020 fiscal year compared to 2019 and demonstrate that they were not in a crisis situation as of 31 December, 2019.
The businesses that can request the aid are those listed in the National Classification of Economic Activities (CNAE) or Tax on Economic Activities (IAE) with codes corresponding to trade services, tourist accommodation, restaurants and travel agencies.
In the case of artisan companies, they must be registered in the Andalusian Artisan Registry, and for tourist accommodation establishments and travel agencies the obligation to appear in the Andalusian Tourism Registry is also required.
The Junta has said that grants will be processed quickly and that will allow the successful applications to be paid within two months.
Grant requests can only be made electronically and new technology will be used to speed up the review and processing procedures.
The payments will be made electronically through a bank transfer.
The deadline for seeking grants will be 30 calendar days from date of the publication of the aid package, along with full elegibility requirements and application process details in the Official Gazette of the Junta de Andalucía (BOJA).