Covid-19: Government announces €3 billion CREDIT LINE to support companies

Covid-19: Government announces €3 billion CREDIT LINE to support companies

The Portuguese government announced this morning a series of “emergency measures” to help the country face the coronavirus outbreak, including a €3 billion credit line for companies mainly in the tourism and industry sectors.

Nearly half of the sum (€1.3 billion) will go to the textile, footwear, clothing, extractive and logging industries, €400 million of which has been set aside specifically for micro and small-sized companies.

Around €900 million will go to the tourism sector, including accommodation units – €300 million of which once again going straight to micro and small-sized companies. A further €200 million will be channelled into tourism sector companies such as travel agents and event organisers, with €175 million of which going to micro and small-sized companies.

Finally, the restaurant sector will be receiving €600 million in support, again with €270 million of which going to small-sized and micro companies.

The government also announced that it will be offering flexibility on tax payments during the second trimester of 2020 for companies and self-employed workers.

In other words, there will be the option to pay taxes in three monthly installments without interest or in six monthly installments with interest only being charged on the last three months.

Finance Minister Mário Centeno also said that these “times of uncertainty” may force the government to amend its State Budget for 2020.

“These are exceptional measures. The government is strongly committed to taking every measure that is necessary to fight this pandemic and prepare for its consequences,” Centeno said in a press conference this morning.

“We seek to guarantee that the government’s aids, as well as the EU rules, do not affect our support to the economy. Flexibility is there and it will be used by everyone in what will be an unprecedented response on a global level,” he said, stressing that the spread of the virus hasn’t yet reached its peak.

He added: “It is time to fight this pandemic but also keep our economy working, maintain jobs and ensure that companies have enough money to meet their obligations with their suppliers, clients and workers. And the State’s role in this matter is fundamental.”

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com