The quarterly aid plan activated last January by the Catalan Government for companies and workers in ERTE, amounting to 618 million euros, and which provided for a bag of 208 million euros to small companies to maintain jobs ( with a ceiling of 30,000 euros per company, 2,000 euros per worker up to a maximum of 15), It has benefited 9,516 Catalan bars and restaurants. 59.4% of these (5,653) have received between 2,000 and 6,000 euros of aid, far from the 30,000 euros cap announced by the Catalan administration.
The maximum amount, the aforementioned 30,000 euros were received by 421 bars and restaurants. Medium-sized companies, with between 50 and 249 employees, are excluded from this aid.
The data, published by the Generalitat, and provided to 20minutos.es by the Gremi de Restauració de Barcelona, they are broken down by number of workers in the temporary employment regulation file, and indicate that 2,420 Catalan bars and restaurants have received 2,000 euros in aid by having a single employee at ERTE. Another 1,939 establishments have received 4,000 euros for having two people on the employment record and 1,294 more have been entitled to 6,000 euros of aid for having three workers in ERTE.
The figures show that six out of 10 restaurant businesses benefited from this quarterly aid line in 2021 “are micro-businesses” and they have also received lower amounts, of only 2,000 euros in 25.43% of the cases. “The aid is clearly insufficient”, they indicate from the restoration union.
The Government launched this economic package in January to help the self-employed and companies most affected by the Covid crisis with the purpose of making it quarterly. The fund distributed to restaurateurs corresponds to the first three months of this year, from January to March, but the urgency of the situation that the group is experiencing makes it very necessary to open a second call.
59.4% of the restaurant businesses benefited from this quarterly aid line in 2021 “are micro-businesses” and have also received lower amounts, of only 2,000 euros
in 25.43% of cases
This second batch is not insured today by the Catalan executive, Mainly, for being in office after the elections of February 14 and after the failure of the investiture attempt of the Republican candidate, the current acting president, Pere Aragonès, at the end of March. Therefore, once the new Government is constituted, for which there is still a period of two months, the Gremi plans to “remember this electoral promise.”
State aid, “in the air”
The inconcretion of this economic injection adds to the forecast that the direct aid announced by the Government will not be distributed “before the summer” central by prior transfer to each autonomous community. “The process of distribution of funds is still in the air,” recalls the entity.
Catalan restaurants are one of the most restricted in terms of opening hours by virtue of the anti-Covid measures dictated by the different autonomous communities. Last fall, there were 40 consecutive days of total closure. And since then, the time restrictions have been tightened.
At the moment there is an uninterrupted schedule from 07:30 to 17:00 that prevents bars and restaurants from being able to offer two of the most profitable services: mid-afternoon drinks and dinners, which have not been served in establishments for half a year in Catalonia.
A “tough” April and May
With the entry into force again of the regional perimeter closure in Catalonia from midnight this Thursday, this hours of attention to the public in the hotel industry will not be modified, which only authorizes In the afternoon and evening hours, serve dinners with pick-up at the premises or at home. In many cases, dinners account for “up to 50% of the billing” of the premises. This panorama makes Catalan restaurateurs think “in some very hard months of April and May”.
The restoration of the shopping centers, the great harmed
Bars and restaurants in Catalan shopping centers have not been able to open for half a year, due to the Covid restrictions dictated by the Procicat. The blinds continue to be lowered since Catalonia authorized the reopening of these complexes on March 1 with a 30% capacity limitation.
The consequence, for restaurateurs, is clear: “Thousands of people ruined and mentally trapped” by the forced stoppage of the activity of some businesses that, in addition, are characterized by high rents. “This fixation with them on the part of the Government there is no where to catch it,” they lament.