A 500-million-euro support package aimed at helping food and beverages (F&B) services providers recover after suffering the impact of ongoing Covid-19 lockdowns was approved by the European Commission this week.
A total of 500 million euros in working capital will be allocated to food service companies, including restaurants and mobile food service, event catering, beverage serving and other food service activities in order to acquire raw materials necessary for their activities.
“The Commission today approved a Greek program of 500 million euros to support businesses in the catering sector. We actively support the return to normalcy, the recovery of the economy and of thousands of Greek businesses and families,” said Margaritis Schinas, European Commission vice-president via his twitter account.
Greek F&B companies of all sizes that experienced a turnover decline of more than 30 percent in 2020 against 2019 are eligible for support co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The aid will take the form of direct grants, with each grant amounting to up to 7 percent of the beneficiary’s annual turnover.
“This 500 million euro aid scheme will enable Greece to help these companies meet their liquidity needs and continue their activities during these difficult times,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy.
The Commission said the Greek plan was “in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework” and states that aid will not exceed 1.8 million euros per beneficiary and will be granted no later than 31 December 2021.
The Commission goes on in a statement to add that the measure is “necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state”.
Greece re-opened restaurants and cafes earlier this month after months of lockdowns and restrictions which kept them closed.