Cyprus Mail

€150m in support schemes amid coronavirus spike

Zeta Emilianidou
Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou

The cabinet has approved special schemes worth about €150m to support businesses, workers, and the unemployed for the next few months, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer the economy, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou said on Thursday.

Emilianidou said over 60,000 people plus those on the dole are expected to receive monetary assistance under the new schemes.

As always, to be eligible, businesses must not dismiss any staff.

“Anyone wishing to participate in the schemes must meet this condition,” Emilianidou said.

The schemes involve subsidising 60 per cent of the salary with the maximum amount being €1,214 and the minimum €360.

The minister said the schemes are addressed to businesses, which have not fully suspended their operations because of the health decrees.

They must have seen a reduction of over 40 per cent of their turnover to be eligible.

The schemes cover the tourism industry, which has taken a battering this year, as well as businesses and workers that are connected with the sector.

The plan will run between November 1 until March 31, 2021. According to Emilianidou, under the scheme, a hotel may receive subsidies for up to 97 per cent of its staff if it has suspended its operations.

Other businesses that have fully suspended their operation because of the decrees can also take part in schemes running between November 1 and the expiration of the order.

The minister said such businesses may received support for 97 per cent or 100 per cent of staff depending on their size.

The schemes also cover other enterprises linked to those that suspended their operations, which however, have remained open. To participate, these businesses must show an over 80 per cent reduction to their turnover to receive assistance for 80 per cent of their staff.

If the turnover has dropped 40 per cent, they would be eligible for help to 50 per cent of staff.

Businesses employing up to three people will get support for all of them.

Emilianidou said the government has also extended the duration of unemployment benefits beyond the six months so that those without jobs would continue to receive a cheque every month.

The minister said that to date, since March, the state has allocated €530m in special schemes.

Over 190,000 had received state assistance between March and June, during what is considered the first wave of the pandemic, Emilianidou said.


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