Today’s Council of Ministers is certain to approve a new raft of measures to support micro. small and medium-sized businesses through the new State of Emergency (to be declared tomorrow, Friday).
Prime minister António Costa ‘leaked’ the news yesterday after a meeting with consumers association DECO and other entities connected to commerce and distribution.
The main focus of the meeting was to establish an extended time period for the return of Christmas presents to January 31 – the idea being to ‘avoid crowds thronging into shops and malls’ straight after the holidays. But Mr Costa stressed that the government was “conscious of the difficulties” being felt by businesses everywhere and thus has come up with further ways of “supporting the elevated costs of the collective effort necessary to control the pandemic”.
He didn’t outline the measures. These will come later today. But for businesses that have seen operating hours reduced; staff forced to work from home – and less in the way of customers generally, it may well be the lifeline to surviving 2020 that they desperately need.