COVID-19: changes to economic support measures
In March 2020, at the beginning of the health crisis and given its impact on the economy, the Prince’s Government introduced an array of measures to support Monegasque businesses and safeguard jobs in the Principality.
Within just a few weeks, the strengthened provisions for total temporary layoff (CTTR) were up and running. Additional measures introduced through the Economic Recovery Support Commission (CARE) and the option to apply for partial exemption from employers’ contributions were put in place equally quickly.
Via this exceptional temporary measures, up to 22,500 employees per month received assistance at the height of the crisis, and more than 2,650 employers in the Principality were supported. Over the course of the last two years, the Monegasque State has funded CTTR to the tune of more than €141.4 million.
For their part, businesses and employees have stepped up and organised themselves to pull through this unprecedented and difficult period.
The economic recovery got underway in spring 2021. Against this encouraging backdrop, the Government decided to maintain CTTR, continuing to show solidarity and to support businesses and employees.
Today, the economic recovery is becoming stronger, although activity has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels in some sectors. Overall, our businesses have proved resilient and some areas, such as construction and services, have become extremely dynamic.
CTTR proved to be a particularly flexible and effective tool, helping to support businesses and limit redundancies and lay-offs.
In light of the recovery indicators, the Government, in agreement with the National Council, has decided that it is appropriate to terminate CTTR on 31 December 2021. The scheme, designed to be exceptional and temporary, was an emergency measure that was not meant to last for a long time. It may be brought back on an ad-hoc basis if the Government is faced with the need to suspend some areas of activity due to the health situation.
In addition to CTTR, other measures were introduced to support businesses affected by the health crisis, including the Economic Recovery Support Commission (CARE), which has mobilised €15 million to respond to the needs of 285 companies since July 2020. The option to apply for partial exemption from employers’ contributions, which will also draw to a close at the end of 2021, has covered 1,640 employees, amounting to a total of €4 million in contributions paid by the Government between July 2020 and September 2021. This figure could reach €5 million by the end of the year. Finally, the State-guaranteed loan programme has already released €17.3 million for investment by the various companies that have applied.
Support continues to be available as recovery strengthens
It is now up to businesses to continue to adapt to the new economic context and the recovery. To help with this, the Government is still providing support through the economic recovery plan, which has mobilised an initial €80.8 million since it was established.
Companies will also be able to make use of the coordinated working time adjustment introduced by Act No. 1.505 on 24 June 2021. This offers them flexibility and the ability to make changes in light of fluctuating business as a result of the current situation. Finally, numerous actions intended to boost the commercial environment in various districts of Monaco should provide support to traders.
The Government will remain highly attentive and vigilant to any developments in the health situation and the consolidation of economic activity over the coming months.