Yordanka Fandukova, Source: Krasimir Svrakov /

The Mayor of Sofia is proposing the first package of measures to support businesses

The Mayor of Sofia is proposing the first package of measures to support businesses

Small and medium-sized businesses in the Bulgarian capital are the ones most affected by the fight against coronavirus

The Mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova announced on 2 April that the first package of measures to support small and medium-sized businesses most affected by the fight against the coronavirus is ready.

More measures to come

According to the Municipality’s press centre, the measures include a tax package, a package of administrative services; reviewing all municipal financial instruments to support more freelancers - all measures to support the sectors of Sofia's economy particularly affected by the measures against coronavirus.

The report was developed jointly with experts from the non-governmental sector and submitted to a working group, which includes representatives from all political groups in the Sofia City Council. The document is the product of weeks of work, the press release said.

"I am convinced that the state of emergency we are in at the moment requires first, expert analysis and, second, political agreement and unification of working and good decisions for the citizens and economy of Sofia," Fandakova wrote in a Facebook post.

However, Sofia also reported serious losses of municipal finances due to the imposed restrictions. In the previous month alone, a decrease of BGN 19 million was reported in revenues from local taxes and fees. There are also losses accumulated by municipal transport and parking. In this regard, work on the second part of the report concerning the revenues and expenditures of the municipality has started.

The Mayor is expected to propose an update to the 2020 budget in order to respond to the changed situation. She was adamant that the investment program would not be stopped, strategic projects such as the construction of the subway, construction of internal rings and connections with the Sofia ring road, waste management, construction of new kindergartens and construction of a contemporary art centre would be maintained.

Early response to coronavirus

We remind readers that Bulgaria was among the countries that introduced strict measures for social exclusion at an early stage in the fight against Covid-19. As early as March 13, when only 40 cases of infection were registered, a state of emergency for a period of 1 month was declared in the country.

It prohibits the operation of large retail outlets, gyms, fitness centres, access to bars and restaurants, etc., with the exception of pharmacies, gas stations and drug stores.

Earlier, authorities urged citizens to stay at home and restrict their social contacts.

The extension of the state of emergency by one month until 13 May 2020 is currently under consideration.



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