Castalla plans to launch an aid plan for SMEs and the self-employed with the Federation of Municipalities

28-April-2020
  • The City Council plans to intensify support for local businesses once the critical phase of attending to people with greater vulnerability is over

The government team of the Castalla Town Hall has been working for weeks in different areas (economic, political, regulatory and social) with the aim of preventing the crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) from having an even more severe impact on the development of the municipality. The priority at this time is to help the self-employed, as well as the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of the municipality, which are mostly local businesses. The action plan is being carried out in coordination with the Valencian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FVMP), and in turn with the Spanish Government and, of course, the Generalitat Valenciana, in accordance with the powers held by each of these administrations. In this sense, the mayor of Castalla, Antonio Bernabeu, says that “our intention is to reach with municipal aid where they could not reach the Generalitat and the State or the Provincial Council itself, since we are the institution closest to employers and neighbors, therefore, is also our responsibility.

Both this plan to implement aid to local trade and how it will start, the local government has informed this morning to the representatives of the municipal opposition, through the video conference that has maintained the first mayor, the councilwoman of Finance, Gema Sanchez, and the councilwoman of Social Services, Maite Gimeno. After relating in this virtual meeting how they have solved the most urgent situations in the municipality, the councilwoman of Social Services, Maite Gimeno, has clarified in the subsequent appearance that “we seek new formulas to help workers, self-employed and SMEs, which we will not leave aside, or during or after the health crisis,” which in his view should be more visible after the State of Alarm, since it is the local administration, the Consistory “which is always there with their neighbors to help them”.

Bernabeu reported that last Saturday, April 25, the president of the FVMP and mayor of Elda, Rubén Alfaro, held a meeting by videoconference with the President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, to address local issues relating to the Covid-19. As a result of this virtual meeting, the Castalla City Council is working on a draft to establish a plan of aid to local trade within the powers of local government. The first mayor castellut assures that “we will transfer budget from different budget items that can no longer be spent to others that need it through accounting and administrative adjustments, following the guidelines of Conselleria and complying with the budget and, therefore, the spending limit and the current adjustment plans”.

In the same vein, the councillor for Finance, Gema Sánchez, recalled that the government team has managed to suspend the total collection of taxes from the City Council, according to SUMA, the provincial institution in charge of taxes. It has also suspended the collection of Property Tax (IBI), which may be paid up to one year without interest and with a linear decrease of 10%. At the same time, as reported by the City Council just a few days ago, more than 100,000 euros have already been invested by Social Services to help residents at risk of greater vulnerability and workers.

On the other hand, the heads of the Castellón City Council affirm that they maintain regular contact with the municipal opposition parties. Thus, since the declaration of the State of Alarm at the beginning of the health crisis in mid-March, every week or week and a half they have been informed of the measures the local government is working on by video call or e-mail. Finally, Antonio Bernabeu, Maite Gimeno and Gema Sánchez have reported that they are attentive to the proposals of interest to Castalla that, throughout these weeks, have been provided by the local representatives of the Partido Popular and Compromís.

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