How Georgia plans to help businesses, low-income families during corona shutdown – round 2
The Georgian government has presented a package of measures to help low-income families and businesses that are at particular risk as a result of the new quarantine restrictions introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The new rules will come into force on November 28 and will last at least two months – tentatively, until January 31, 2021.
The total package of targeted aid will cost the state budget 1.1 billion lari [about $500 million], said Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia.
What kind of assistance is planned:
● People who have lost their jobs will receive 200 GEL [about $60] monthly for the first six months from January 1, 2021. 125,000 people benefited from such assistance during the first wave of coronavirus infections in the spring of 2020. It is expected that about the same number of people will receive help this time.
● The self-employed will receive a one-time payout of 300 GEL [about $85]. Such assistance was received by 250,000 people during the first wave of coronavirus. These are mainly people working in retail, shopping malls and stores.
This time around 100-120 thousand people will receive such assistance, as many self-employed people will continue to work.
● The state will help self-employed receive a deferral of loan payments.
● The tourism sector will be fully exempt from property tax in 2021. Income tax will also be written off, which during the first wave was postponed four months in advance.
● As assistance to the restaurant business, the government will pay interest on loans over the next six months.
● Salaries up to GEL 1,500 [about $450] will be exempt from income tax for the next six months. According to the Prime Minister, this is a particularly important advantage for employers. “During the first wave, this assistance reached 33,000 companies and affected 425,000 employees. It is about 260 million lari [about $80 million], ”Gakharia said.
● Socially disadvantaged families and people with disabilities will receive 100 lari [about $30] assistance monthly for six months.