Ostrava is again helping small businesses overcome the COVID crisis
Similarly to last year, the City of Ostrava is now offering a one-off payment to help businesses overcome the difficulties caused by the current government restrictions that were introduced to slow the spread of the COVID virus. The financial assistance package was approved by the City Council earlier today. All small businesses operating within Ostrava are eligible for the assistance, provided that the restrictions that came into effect on 27 December 2020 have either forced them to close completely or have substantially restricted their ability to operate. Applications for the assistance (a one-off payment of 20 000 CZK) can be submitted from Monday 18 January until Sunday 7 February 2021.
For English speaking individuals: at Ostrava Expat Centre they will be happy to help you fill out the application. You can contact them at email@example.com, via Messenger on the Facebook page, or in person during opening hours at Českobratrská street 1888/14.
Ostrava’s Mayor Tomáš Macura gave more details: “We are aware that we can’t compensate for all the losses suffered by businesses – we simply don’t have the financial power to do so. However, we are also acutely aware that behind small businesses there are individual people – people whose restaurants, cafés, shops and various other services help to make Ostrava what it is, as well as representing the bedrock of our city’s economy. And of course those individual people have families, who have also been hit hard by the current situation. We want to send a clear message to them – we’re standing by you in these tough times. So we’re following in our footsteps from last year, when this quick and simple form of financial assistance proved very successful. The City is offering this assistance package despite the fact that our tax revenue has fallen compared with last year. We have allocated 40 million CZK to the programme, which will reach up to two thousand applicants.”
The City Council will assess and approve applications at weekly intervals. The assistance package is targeted at small businesses and self-employed people who are facing a difficult financial situation because the government’s current measures have forced them to suspend or substantially restrict their business activities. The one-off payment (which is subject to approval by the City Council) is intended to at least partially cover business costs. It is available to individuals or companies whose business activities (either retail sales or services provided within the city boundaries) have been explicitly prohibited by the government’s measures. Catering services (such as restaurants) that have been impacted by the ban on members of the public entering such premises will be eligible for the financial support even if they have chosen to offer take-away services and similar forms of sale.
To apply for the assistance, businesses must use a simple internet form which requires them to upload a scanned copy of their signed application, a declaration and a scanned copy of their national identity card. The scheme is not open to businesses or individuals who are currently in insolvency proceedings or who owe money to the City. To be eligible for the support, applicants must have had a total income from all business activities in 2020 between 180 000 CZK and 12 million CZK. The business must have been operating without interruption since no later than 31 August 2020. The application form can be downloaded at https://pomoc.ostrava.cz/. Detailed information on the scheme is available at the City of Ostrava’s website: www.ostrava.cz/pomoc-podnikatelum. Like last year, the scheme uses a simple, easy-to-understand and user-friendly online form that has been jointly created by IT experts from TietoEVRY and the City’s own internet service provider Ovanet with the aim of making the application process as simple as possible for businesses while also ensuring that the administration and assessment of the applications is highly efficient.
Last year, Ostrava was one of the first Czech cities to introduce a financial assistance package for businesses impacted by the government’s measures to restrict the spread of COVID-19. The scheme was launched in March 2020; businesses based in Ostrava could apply for a rapid-response payment of up to 20 000 CZK and a subsidy of up to 100 000 CZK. A total 2 557 Ostrava businesses received almost 80 million CZK as part of the 2020 support scheme.