REPORT / Helping local businesses in Getafe, an ‘oasis’ in the crisis desert

The nightmare of many traders and small businessmen in Getafe began in March 2020. The quarantine and restrictions imposed due to the pandemic have opened a fateful stage for many entrepreneurs. Many closed, and energy costs and inflation skyrocketed as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine seemed to raise their heads.

From his double podium as an entrepreneur – the owner of the bakery sawn At Getafe- and as president of the Getafe Traders and Entrepreneurs Association (ACOEG), Augustine Gallardo Remember the hardest days. “These were very difficult times and many businesses had to shut down,” he recalls.

Gallardo, many 400 ACOEG partners, He will be one of the businessmen who will benefit from the new help offered by the Getafe City Council to revive the industry or at least mitigate the impact of the economic crisis.

Agustín Gallardo’s work feeds six people, all unidentified. It has two stores, one on Calle Batres (in La Alhóndiga) and the other on Calle San Eugenio. The first is owned, the second is for rent. This latter is covered by the conditions set by the City Council to receive assistance.

“Neighborhood commerce is having a really bad time, so this help will be a little relief,” he says.

A downtown shop in Getafe (Photo: DGC)

Getafe booked to pay 300.000 Euros, For the next twelve months, the leasing of small and medium-sized enterprises with up to 10 workers and a customer service area of ​​​​not more than 150 square meters. Offered by the Getafe Initiatives local development agency (GISA), these grants are segmented, making greater use of businesses, hoteliers and smaller gallery stalls: thus, 225 Euros per month will be awarded for a rental of up to 1,000 Euros per month; From 1,001 to 1,500 Euros, 200 Euros per month will be offered; For the part from 1,501 to 2,500 Euros, 225 Euros will be delivered each month.

Gallardo confirms that, according to the City Council, the clause will be extended if necessary and that there are enough unmet demands. This news is appreciated by the businessman and president of ACOEG, who knows the Getafeño business world by heart. “I’ve been living since I was 19 and I’m 53,” she recalls.

“Everything is ignited: electricity, diesel from deliveries… We doubled the cost, but if 25% of the rent is paid for us, that’s a big help»

ACOEG President Agustin Gallardo

The head of traders says the reaction of the partners was overwhelming and urgent. “I hope everyone can ask for help and reach out to them” Explain. ACOEG began negotiations with the local Manager after receiving information from traders and businessmen that businesses were in most cases “suffocated” by rents. “That was the claim of the businessmen and it is very positive for us that the Government has complied with these demands.”

“Everything is ignited: electricity, diesel from deliveries… We doubled the cost, but if 25% of the rent is paid for us, it is an important help” he says.

more raise

Rachel Cuevas She has been running the hairdressing business in Getafe for seven years. In addition to the cuts due to the pandemic and the increase in electricity, the sector is facing a VAT increase from 8% to 21% for a long time. The businesswoman mourns daily from her building in ‘Kayra’ in El Rosón.

ACOEG president Agustín Gallardo at his job in La Alhóndiga.

And it’s not just the energy increase of light that weighs on your business, but also the increase in payments to suppliers and products. “They’ve risen a lot – he says – and it’s us who finally carry those ascensions.” In this sense, he explains that the service increase in the hairdressing salon is only 1 euro. It can’t be made more expensive because otherwise people claim it wouldn’t come.

“The increase in VAT has hurt us a lot, we tried to fight but it was very difficult for us, it’s hard for us to go back, because that’s a big difference,” he complains.

Therefore, the municipality appreciates the help: “Anything that helps is good, even a little bit. It’s for gratitude.” Getafe has approximately 1,600 registered commercial buildings, including shops, gallery stalls, the service or hospitality sector, the vast majority of which have received some form of municipal assistance since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Raquel Cuevas’ hair salon in El Rosón de Getafe.

Cuevas’ business received help from GISA for the pandemic two years ago. -Depending on the number of employees- it was about 1,200 euros, “very good to start after two months of closing”, contributions used to support “expenses and payroll”. Getafe has distributed around 3 million euros in aid to the local company since 2020.

Replacing energy devices

The second hotline that Getafeño City Council will implement is old-fashioned energy elements in an environmentally friendly project. contributes to energy savings. So the help will be towards replacing old air conditioners, inefficient lights or old cold rooms. Mandatory automatic doors, which were determined by the central government to keep the temperature from 27 degrees in last summer’s decree, were also “included in the aid.”

Rubén Martín at his building in El Bercial.

Games included until deal 2,000 euros per jobthe investment being 100 percent of the cost in some cases and 70 percent as the case may be.

Raquel Cuevas will not be participating in these grants – she assures that the works include improvements in energy consumption as the facilities are recent (3 years) – but there will be other businesses that will.

“Our facilities are large and it is very expensive to cool in the summer. Any help is good because it cuts costs»

Rubén Martín from cafe ‘New Cabañas’

Ruben Martin Together with his partner, Mateo Lavandero, he runs the cafe ‘Nevo Cabañas’ in El Bercial. They have lived in Getafe for six years, the last two being pandemics.

These are high-cost appliances, including air conditioners or cold rooms, that represent a “brutal” expense for businesses. At Martin’s founding, refrigeration “very big” and creates a “very high cost” especially in the summer months. The aid therefore “cuts costs”.

Building managers will also benefit from rental assistance. “We believe this is a very good initiative, a big help, especially due to the increase in supply and raw materials,” says Rubén Martin. “Everything from milk to meat went up, it was a huge economic loss.”

Ultimately, according to the consulted businessmen, all sectors will be more or less relieved with an aid package that “breathes them to life”. One of the economic crises has had more of an impact than it has faced.

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