VERA Council has unveiled an ambitious new plan aimed at rebooting the local economy, which has taken a hammering since the start of the coronavirus crisis.
Dubbed ‘Vera Impulsa,’ the €2.4 million plan features a raft of economic and social measures designed to help kick-start economic and social activity in the municipality once the state of alarm restrictions begin to be lifted.
Mayor Jose Carmelo Jorge Blanco said his administration was pouring all its energy into the initiative “with the objective of as soon as possible easing the consequences of the crisis created by the Covid-19 epidemic.”
The local authority said the plan focuses particularly on the sectors hardest hit by the health emergency situation, namely tourism, hospitality and trade, and taking into account all the small and medium-sized businesses, self-employed and companies which make up Vera’s economic structure.
The mayor said the plan also aims to meet the social needs of local residents, “protecting the worst affected and helping Vera families to move forward.”
His team has taken into account young people, the elderly, schoolchildren and all the most vulnerable sectors, like the unemployed, people on low incomes and the homeless, he explained.
Among the specific measures are subsidies of €1,000 for businesses forced to close their doors and €600 for those which have seen income drop by 75 per cent.
The council is planning to create an e-commerce platform, workshops, training courses and a good practice guide for shops and hotels and to sign an agreement with the Chamber of Commerce on business training and orientation, business creation and development, and more.
In relation to tourism and hospitality, as well as a municipal tourist promotional campaign there are measures like making more terrace space available to bars and restaurants for tables and chairs and asking the coasts’ general management for an exemption on the tax for occupying maritime land areas for beach bars, sunbed rental, water sports and the like.
The council said the real boost to economic activity will come from financial and tax measures, such as suspending the charges levied on businesses for occupying public spaces or having market stalls, paying suppliers as quickly as possible, and reducing or suspending a series of other taxes and fees.