MANILA, Philippines — Businesses in Makati can get up to P100,000 financial assistance under the city’s program to boost the local economy and counter the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Makati Mayor Abby Binay announced via Facebook live on Monday that the money would be sourced from the P2.5-billion economic relief package recently passed by the city council.

Under the Makati Assistance and Support to Businesses Program, the city will give grants ranging from P10,000 to P100,000 to registered businesses, depending on the type of business and the number of residents it employs.

Posted by My Makati on Sunday, September 6, 2020

The grant will be used to pay for salaries of employees, both Makati and non-Makati residents, and for payment for supplies. The money will not be released to the employers, but directly to employees and to their Makati-based suppliers, Binay said.

In return, the businesses will have to comply with the following conditions:

-they must continue to operate

-they will not lay off any Makati resident employee

-they must 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.

Makati will also allow a one-hour “travel window” beyond the 10 pm curfew to give residents enough time to return home after dining out in restaurants and other food establishments in the city.

Binay said they just need to show a machine-generated BIR official receipt indicating that in between 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., they were from an establishment.

“Businesses, especially restaurants, cannot survive with very limited operating hours,” Binay said.

Online businesses, pooled testing

Binay also encouraged online businesses to register, thus she 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 store presence.

“We are declaring Makati as the Philippines online business hub. I want to encourage 100 percent registration of online businesses in Makati,” the mayor said. “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.”

“We will simplify the process and make it as contactless as possible,” she added.

Makati also intends to tie up with other stakeholders to provide pooled testing for employees of private businesses at a minimal cost.

If the city gets enough support from the private sector, the testing can be given free of charge, she added.


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