Makati extends P 2.5-billion grant to city businesses
MANILA, Philippines — While the national government claims its coffers are almost empty when asked for cash to support people affected by the pandemic, Makati City will be granting a coronavirus relief package to some 78,000 businesses in the city.
The local government will provide up to P100,000 in financial assistance to business establishments in the city under a P2.5-billion economic relief program aimed to pump-prime the city’s economy.
In an online address on Monday, Mayor Abby Binay announced the proposed Makati Assistance and Support to Businesses program, in which the city will extend grants of between P10,000 and P100,000 to registered businesses in the city, depending on the type of business and the number of Makatizens it currently employs.
The grant will be used to pay for the salaries of employees—regardless if they are Makati or non-Makati residents—and for payment for supplies.
Binay said the money would not be released to the employers, but directly to employees and to their Makati-based suppliers.
Recipients of the grant would not be required to pay back, the mayor noted, but they should comply with the following conditions for the next two years: that they continue to operate; that they do not lay off any of their Makatizen employees; and that they comply with the city’s ordinances and safety guidelines.
“This is not a loan, but financial aid aimed to help some 78,000 businesses registered in Makati. We will ensure an easy, fast and automatic process for the approval of grants under the program,” Binay said.
The program was based on the findings of the Asian Development Bank survey published in July, in which it was noted that most of the micro, small and medium enterprises in the country would close down in six months because of the pandemic, should the government not infuse adequate cash into them.
As part of strengthening the local economy, Binay encouraged the 100-percent registration of online businesses in Makati to make the city the “country’s online business hub.”
According to the mayor, she had endorsed to the city council an ordinance that will provide the lowest local business tax rate allowed by the law for online sellers that do not have any physical stores.
“I am calling on home-based enterprises—this is your chance to grow your online business by allowing the city to help you. Register, pay the lowest business tax and be recognized as a legitimate business entity,” she said.
In another strategic move to encourage brisk sales, the mayor said the city had created a “window” during curfew hours that will allow Makati residents coming from restaurants and food establishments in the city an extra hour to travel back to their residences.
Customers just need to show a machine-generated official receipt indicating that between 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., they patronized an establishment to be entitled to the travel window. Makati follows the metro-wide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.