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Turkey to provide financial support to businesses amid COVID-19 pandemic

Turkey to provide financial support to businesses amid COVID-19 pandemic

Turkey will be providing financial support to the businesses whose operations have been disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown measures, the country’s president announced Wednesday.

Support concerns sectors and businesses such as restaurants and cafes that are taxed in the actual procedure and whose 2019 turnover was at TL 3 million ($406,140) and below, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s parliamentary group in the capital Ankara.

“Businesses, whose turnover has decreased by 50%, will be provided between TL 2,000 and TL 40,000 payment support for loss of turnover,” Erdoğan said.

The working hours of some businesses including restaurants, cafes and shopping malls have been limited as part of measures that Ankara reimposed as of November to curb rising COVID-19 cases.

Restaurants and cafes are limited to serving takeout only. Establishments with higher infection potential, like swimming pools and Turkish baths, were shut down.

The country is currently imposing lockdowns on weekends and nighttime curfews on weekdays.

Erdoğan’s remarks follow a decree on Monday that will see the country postponing the income tax, withholding tax and sales tax payments of businesses whose activities have been temporarily suspended.

Cafes, cinemas, various sports facilities, tea gardens, internet cafes, amusement parks and Turkish baths that have been closed due to lockdowns will benefit from the move.

This comes after they were included within the scope of force majeure effective Dec. 1 last year.

The government has taken a series of measures since spring last year to ease the burden and revive economic activity.

Erdoğan in December announced grand and rental support for businesses and promised to continue discounts for value-added taxes.

The president said that the government would provide tradespeople with nearly TL 5 billion worth of support for three months.

Ankara had already extended financial support as part of the relief package announced in March 2020 to cushion the fallout from the outbreak. It had slashed taxes for hard-hit sectors and has been providing funding for workers.