Retail sector losing over €500m a week due to coronavirus shutdown
Catalan business minister calls for more help for stores, 60% of which have had to close because of health crisis
The retail sector is losing some 525 million euros a week due to the coronavirus shutdown, or 58% of the sector's weekly turnover, estimates the Catalan government.
The health crisis has forced almost 66,000 retail establishments to close, 60% of the total, and prevented 209,700 employees, 65% of the total, from going to work.
Catalan business minister, Àngels Chacón, presented the figures on Thursday, and criticized the Spanish government's measures to help the retail sector as "insufficient."
While she welcomed the Madrid authorities suspending taxes paid by firms in the sector, she insisted it "does not go far enough" and asked for an extension of the moratorium.
"More functioning companies means more jobs, more wealth creation, more taxes paid and less need to spend on social protection," said Chacón in defending the sector.
The minister also announced an emergency aid package of nine million euros to help small and medium-sized firms in the retail, services, craft and fashion sectors.
In addition to the retail sector, the minister also brought up the effects the virus has had on tourism, calling the closure of tourist accommodation "devastating" for the industry.