COVID-19: $8 billion earmarked for small, medium businesses

Funds will be used to pay salaries for the next two months

Published in 27/03/2020 - 14:32 By Kelly Oliveira - Brasília

The Brazilian government unveiled a credit line to provide funding for the payroll at small and medium-sized businesses under the public calamity situation stemming from the new coronavirus pandemic. A monthly $4 billion will be made available for the next two months.

The announcement was made by President Jair Bolsonaro at the Planalto presidential palace on Friday (27), joined by the presidents of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto; Caixa Econômica Federal, Pedro Guimarães; and the National Economic and Socila Bank (BNDS), Gustavo Montezano.

The financing line should benefit 1.4 million businesses and reach 12.2 million workers. The credit will be sent to firms with yearly revenues adding up to $72 thousand to $2 million and cover their payrolls for two months. The funding is aimed at the payment of two minimum wages ($415) for each employee. Companies may complete the payment for those with a salary above the minimum wage.

Autonomous workers

On Thursday, after talks with the Economy Ministry, the lower house approved a three-month emergency aid amounting to $120 per person for self-employed, informal workers with no fixed income during the pandemic crisis. As the executive and legislative branches agree on its value, the matter should be quickly submitted to the Senate and subsequently to the president for further approval.

COVID-19

As per the latest official figures, released Thursday (26), the country sees 2,915 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 77 deaths caused by the disease. The morality rate stands at 2.7 percent.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Juliana Andrade / Nira Foster

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