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The inhabitants and businesses on the small Atlantic island can count on additional support
Rui Barreto, the Secretary of Economy in the Regional Government of Madeira, assured business and community leaders on the small island of Porto Santo, that his administration will provide additional subsidies and social programmes in order to keep the regional economy afloat. This was reported yesterday by the Madeira Government’s website as part of the “Listening to Decide” cycle of meetings between politicians and private sector representatives with a view to hammering out a strategy for economic recovery.
Madeira is actually an archipelago consisting of the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo
Porto Santo is a small island (42.5 km2) with a population of around 5500 people that is located northeast of the larger island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean. Administratively, Porto Santo is part of the regional autonomy enjoyed by the archipelago.
On that account, speaking in front of 50 representatives of the local private sector and mayors, Secretary Barreto declared that the national government’s recent extension to the “lay-off” support scheme is not sufficient enough to bring about the complete recovery of the local economy.
That is why he presented measures that will ease the operations of local companies and calm the anxiety among the residents. One of these measures is a 2.5 million-euro subsidy for the transportation costs of island businesses to the Portuguese mainland.
This measure represents 1% of the total aid that has been already granted by the authorities to Madeiran archipelago families and businesses. The subsidies, in turn, represent 4.6% of the regional GDP. However, cash injections alone may prove insufficient.
“This is also the time to look at training, which must be continuous, and realize that much will spring out after this pandemic, realize that today, in fact, the digital transition, innovation and new technologies, the possibility of attracting resources and people…to be able to live on this island and from this island to be able to develop one’s professional activity in other localities – these will certainly be challenging, ” said Secretary Barreto.
His proposed solution to these obstacles is the creation of a tax regime that will make the islands more fiscally attractive for investors.
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