A shopping street in Palma, Mallorca

Most applications were from bars and restaurants.

05-03-2021Jaume Morey

Palma town hall received 1,955 applications for financial aid from small businesses and the self-employed. Only 685 of these - 35% - were approved, and this was because the budget for the aid, 1.7 million euros, was quickly used up.

Fabrizio di Giacomo, the director-general for trade at the town hall, admits that the amount was insufficient to meet demand. Aid that was given was essentially on a first come-first served basis. The councillor for economic promotion and employment, Rodrigo Romero, says that there will be a new round of aid this year. "It will include businesses that were left out."

Town hall figures indicate that most applications came from bars and restaurants - 700 - followed by hairdressers (319) and clothes shops (254). In the end, aid was provided to 243 bars/restaurants, 115 hairdressers and 109 clothes shops. There were 661 applications from other sectors of the retail trade, such as food shops with 72 - just fifteen of the 72 resulted in aid.

Julio Martínez of the opposition Partido Popular says that the town hall's policy for small businesses is a "failure". "We had warned that the money was insufficient. Next time it needs to be at least three million." He points out, though, that the 2021 budget doesn't contain provision for increased aid.

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