Wallonia’s government decided on Wednesday to compensate businesses affected by the lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
All sectors and activities that have been closed or, in the case of events, cancelled, will receive the €5,000 compensation to offset the effects of the crisis, the Walloon government said at a press conference on Wednesday. The sectors concerned are hotels, guest houses, restaurants, cafes, bars, travel and booking agencies, retailers and service providers such as beauticians.
“All these groups represent 48,980 potential beneficiaries,” according to the regional government. Businesses whose activities have been curtailed by the lockdown, such as barbershops, will receive 2,500 euros in compensation. This group is estimated at 6,015 beneficiaries.
“To manage these 50,000 files, a platform will be set up by 27 March at the latest for applications to be submitted,” Economic Affairs Minister Willy Borsus said. “The 1890 telephone number is the general information number,” he explained.
“We shall also mobilise the financial tools, the Sowalfin, Sogepa and Sriw,” he added. “We shall intervene in the form of guarantees with the banks or loans of up to €200,000.”
Wallonia’s parliament had approved two bills granting special powers to the regional government to deal with the coronavirus crisis and its consequences at a plenary session on Tuesday. Wednesday’s measures are part of this package.
The special powers are valid for three months, renewable once.