Portimão tackles “economic catastrophe” with plan to get businesses back on their feet

Portimão Council is working on a plan to support local businesses which have been struggling since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and have now been dealt a new blow following Portimão’s inclusion on the list of “high-risk” boroughs.

“As soon as this programme is created, we will be contacting you (business owners) so that you can apply for this support and overcome the pain of the losses that we have experienced this year,” mayor Isilda Gomes said in an eight-minute video posted on the council’s Facebook page on Friday.

As Gomes pointed out, “we are all facing a very serious situation, economically and socially.”

“That is why we are working to help those who need it the most with the appropriate projects and programmes,” said the mayor.

But these support programmes will do little good if the municipality fails to bring its number of cases down.

“The vast majority of the people in Portimão have been following recommendations. It is due to very few that we made the list,” Gomes stressed.

“I know what I’m talking about. One citizen infected 20 people. Another infected citizen went to work knowing she was infected and transmitted it to 17 other people,” lamented the local mayor.

That is why Gomes says it is so important to follow sanitary recommendations.

“We made the list by a very small margin, meaning that we can also make it off the list by a very small margin,” said Gomes, adding that if everyone follows recommendations, Portimão will be closer to being excluded from the list.

“Then we can feel proud knowing we did everything to end this economic catastrophe,” Gomes stated, calling on the “few people who haven’t followed the rules to do so.

“There is something we have to realise. We are fighting to stop people from dying. If we have to make some sacrifices to avoid further deaths, then let’s make them so that we do not have to mourn our loved ones,” Gomes said.

Meantime, the council has also launched a new awareness campaign urging citizens to follow Covid-19 guidelines so that locals can enjoy a somewhat normal Christmas.

Entitled ‘Eu Quero o Meu Natal – Escolho Cumprir’ (I Want my Christmas – I Choose to Comply), the campaign calls on citizens to wear their masks, keep a two-metre distance from others, disinfect their hands frequently, respect “respiratory etiquette” and install the StayAway Covid app.

“If we all follow the rules, we will have a happier Christmas,” said Gomes.