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Economy

Still-Closed Greek Business Get Another COVID-19 State Lifeline

ATHENS – While most of Greece's retailers were allowed to open April 5 for businesses – with conditions – during a five-month quasi-lockdown, those still shut will be getting more state assistance to keep them afloat.

The 130-million euro ($152.7 million) package would help around 100,000 businesses, including some 10,800 retailers, with financial assistance ranging from 1,000-4,000 euros ($1175-$4698,, depending on the number of workers employed,  Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said.

"We are making use of funds raised from markets in the last months to support businesses and households," he said, the news agency Reuters reported, Greece borrowing the money to pass on the aid.

The state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA-MPA) said that businesses subject to restrictions in April will get that increased “special purpose” compensation they said they need for supplies and other uses.

The measure will benefit roughly 100,000 businesses and self-employed workers, of which 10,800 are retailers operating in Thessaloniki, Achaia and Kozani, who won't be allowed to open yet.

for whom restrictive measures have been extended. The others are in sectors such as tourism, sports and fitness, culture, transport and others whose activities are suspended by the state, the report said.

Businesses qualifying for the higher compensation are those employing up to 50 employees whose activities or the greater part of whose turnover are derived from suspended in April.

Those which were allowed to operate again must limit the number of customers and with time allowances of three hours or can also use a click-and-collect method to let people shop online and pick up outside the store.

The measure excludes shopping malls and department stores in the Athens area which will remain closed and in regions with severe infection levels, including Thessaloniki, the country's second-largest city.

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