BAGUIO CITY – The local government will be concentrating its limited stimulus package to micro and small businesses that had been heavily impacted by the implementation of the Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to allow the gradual recovery of the city’s economy.
City Budget Officer Leticia O. Clemente, chairperson of the city’s Local Finance Committee, said that the members decided to focus some 80 percent of the P100 million being readied for assistance to impacted businesses for micro businesses while the remaining 20 percent will be given out to small businesses.
From the original 2-month grace period that will be given to businesses that will avail of the city’s stimulate package, she claimed that cavaliers of the financial assistance will be given a 6-month grace period to pay back their loan with the city in 25 months with no interest.
The local finance committee is preparing the final draft of the ordinance to be submitted to the city council seeking for the realignment of some P100 million from the P150 million earlier appropriated by the local government for the city’s anti-Corona virus Disease 2019 operations as the same had not been used for such purpose.
Based on the permits issued by the local government for the existing businesses, over 20,400 are classified as micro businesses, more than 2,400 are said to be small businesses, close to 500 are medium enterprises while less than 100 are large businesses.
Under the initial guidelines for the city’s stimulus package, micro businesses can avail a maximum of P30,000 loan while small businesses could borrow s much as P50,000.
Clemente claimed that the committee will source out more funds that will be included as part of the initial amount that will be loaned out to impacted businesses to allow them to recover and contribute in reviving the vibrance of the local economy.
According to her, the committee is also considering offering a separate stimulus package for informal businesses so that they will be able to eventually secure their business permits and pay the corresponding taxes to the city in the future.
Part of the strategy being studied by the committee to entice informal businesses to secure their required permits is to issue business permits for free for the first year of their registration with the city.
She pointed out that the local government will ensure that the amount that will be loaned out to micro and small businesses in the city will be paid back during the 24-month period to ensure that there will be funds that could be used in sustaining the implementation of the city’s stimulus program for the benefit of businesses that want to bounce back from the heavy impact of the ECQ implementation to the city’s economy.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong ordered the city’s Local Finance Committee to source out available funds to be used to implement the stimulus package for businesses that will serve as the local government’s support for the same to be able to recover from the wrath of the global pandemic that virtually caused the closure of most of the business establishments operating in the city.
One of the requirements for businesses to avail of the city’s stimulus package is the availability of the latest business permit that was issued by the local government to legalize their operations.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis
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