Economic Aid
08 May 2020
New aids for economic, business and commercial activity

The creation of a Municipal Fund to support investment and economic development, aimed at startups, micro-enterprises and SMEs in the city, and the granting of tax benefits and exemption from the payment of municipal fees to merchants and other economic agents, estimated at 315 thousand euros, are the main measures to strengthen the Municipality of Porto in supporting the economic, business and commercial sectors of the city affected by the crisis. The proposal will be discussed in the City Council meeting next Monday.

This is yet another set of municipal measures to combat the economic effects caused by the pandemic. After the approval of the first package of measures, and others in the meantime adopted by the Municipality, whether of a more specific nature, as is the case with the emergency associations’ support line, whether those that were applied by the municipal companies Domus SocialSRU, Porto Vivo or Águas do Porto.

Thus, the new aid that Rui Moreira is going to propose to the Municipal Executive at the private meeting on the 11th, is aimed, at this stage, at stimulating street and traditional and historical commerce of the city. But, also for the services, commerce, leisure and tourism activities in the municipality that halted and that now, in a phased manner can be resumed again.

The first concerns the creation of a municipal fund that supports startups, micro-enterprises and SMEs in the city to respond to the current challenges of the economy and that contributes, through access to capital or reinforcement of liquidity, so that business and jobs are maintained during and after the current crisis.

Financial resources will be affected by the Municipality, but the Mayor of Porto does not rule out the possibility of the fund integrating "other participants from the private sphere who are willing to participate in this effort to capitalize on the city's economic fabric".

At the same time, consultancy services will be made available in specific areas of support to companies that can help mitigate the effects of the crisis and promote economic recovery, support that may be provided by InvestPorto, in conjunction with other entities or consultancy companies that include specialists in many areas.

A dedicated team will also be created to support contacts with companies, formalize the application processes for the fund and its subsequent monitoring.

With the objective of strengthening the support for economic activities proven to be affected by the pandemic, in the context of the review of the RIIMMP - Regulation of Exemptions from Municipal Taxes of the Municipality of Porto, to be concluded during the year 2020, "situations of exemption and reduction of the Local State Tax (Derrama) to be launched for the years 2021 and 2022", can be read in the document.

Tax benefits and exemptions close to 315 thousand euros

On the other hand, a second line of support is reflected in the granting of tax benefits to establishments and agents of the economic, commercial and business fabric of the city. They represent close to 315 thousand euros of dividends that the Municipality will no longer receive.

According to Rui Moreira's proposal, total exemption (100%) is foreseen in the payment of the following municipal fees: occupation of public space with advertising media; occupation of public space with the installation of awnings, terraces, showcases and displays, chests and machines, flower boxes, containers, grills, carpets; other public domain occupations, such as non-profit events. In the scope of economic activities in the public space, special constructions or installations on the ground or underground are exempt from the payment of municipal taxes, namely temporary constructions or installations due to celebrations, for the exercise of trade; and pavilions, newsstands or other buildings not included in the previous numbers of article 66 of the Municipal Taxes Table in force, contained in Annex G-1 of Part G of the Regulatory Code of the Municipality of Porto.

In the document to be considered by the Municipal Executive next Monday, the Mayor of Porto also proposes to exempt the payment of municipal fees for the issuing of a license to operate tourist circuits; tourism developments; the establishment of catering or beverage establishments, the sale of goods, the provision of services or storage; public transport for car hire; provision of restaurant or beverages services with a non-sedentary character, in public space, depending on the area of ​​the facilities and the period of operation.

The refund of the annual fees paid in February, relating to terraces, awnings, advertising media and licenses for operating tourist circuits, as well as those that, other than annual fees, have already been charged with respect to tax facts that occurred after February 29th of this year, following the previously mentioned exemptions. 

The exemptions and reimbursements provided for can only benefit establishments and economic agents that have their taxes regularized before the Municipality.

The document also states that these supports and exemptions that result in losses of municipal revenue do not jeopardize the municipal budgets of either 2020 or next year.

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