Nightlife sector to get up to €20m in public aid, but will remain closed for now
Businesses still suffering due to Covid-19 restrictions although curfew lifted last week
The nightlife sector will receive up to €20 million in public aid from Tuesday as authorities are still not allowing clubs and bars to open past 12:30 am.
Subsidies will vary from €15,000 to €120,000 per establishment depending on the number of employees and the number of people allowed to enter the establishment. For those that host more than 1,300 people and employ more than 10 workers, the subsidy can be between €50,000 and €120,000.
Overall, the Catalan business ministry will give up to €20 million on a first-come basis, nightlife industry body Fecasarm said. This is why the organization is advising businesses to apply for the aid as soon as possible on Tuesday, once they become available.
Nightlife sector has been closed in Catalonia since December 23 to stop the spike of coronavirus cases in the territory. Also on that day, a curfew from 1 to 6 am came into effect but was lifted on Friday 21.
While the measure has been lifted, nightlife businesses have not seen a reconsideration of their situation. On the first day since the curfew, Barcelona deputy mayor Jaume Collboni celebrated the lifting of the measure. However "other measures should be proposed, such as those affecting nightlife, which inexplicably remains closed," he said.
On Monday, Fecasarm announced they are urging authorities to "make restrictions more flexible" ahead of a meeting scheduled for Tuesday to study the situation.
Aid accessible online
Nightlife businesses that wish to apply will have to do it online via Canal Empresa, Catalonia’s body for the business sector.
The government has announced that it will be possible to add the new aid to other already approved subsidies, although the process to request it ends on February 4 at 2 pm local time.
Since the start of the pandemic, this is the fifth support campaign launched by the Catalan business ministry giving up to €40 million to the nightlife sector. In total, 3,103 subventions have been granted.