The cabinet has approved a new €3 million scheme to support businesses in light of the recent restrictions imposed in some sections of the economy, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said on Wednesday.
The scheme provides one-off grants to a number of businesses and the self-employed.
Businesses eligible to receive a grant include nightclubs and discotheques, movie theatres, art agencies, businesses that plan and organise conferences and trade fairs, private theatres and other live performance spaces, musicians and bands, singers, dancers and other performers and entertainment venues such as those catering for weddings and baptisms.
To receive the grant, eligible businesses and professionals must have their registered office or permanent residence in Cyprus and exercise their financial rights in Cyprus.
They have to have been affected by the latest restrictive measures and have submitted their tax returns for 2019.
The cabinet also approved the suspension of any VAT payments for the period that ended on December 31, 2021.
Petrides explained that an extension has been given until April 10, 2022, after which the payment can be made in three equal instalments.
Eligible businesses for the VAT payment suspension included restaurants, taverns, catering companies, cafeterias, bars, nightclubs and traditional coffee shops.
Petrides said that the formula to determine the amount of the one-off grant will take into account the business or self-employed person’s turnover.
The scheme involves a direct, automatic grant provided to businesses without the need for an application.
He added that the total amount of approximately €3 million concerns about 300 companies.
“Restaurants are not included in the first initiative,” Petrides said, referring to the grant. “They are in the second part which concerns the suspension of the imposition of the payment of VAT that should have been done before December 31, 2021.
“This is a measure to boost liquidity,” the minister said.
According to Petrides, the VAT payment suspension, which does include restaurants and cafeterias, affects an additional 700 companies.
He added that these companies will be supported until March through a scheme by the labour ministry.