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Consell unveils new section of website for updated info on Covid-19 crisis and support for islanders

foto webconsellcovidThe Formentera Department of Entrepreneurialism and New Technologies announces the opening of www.conselldeformentera.cat/covid19—a new section of the Consell de Formentera website devoted to updated information on the phased-in opening up of public life as well as assistance which local, regional and national governments are offering islanders in response to the Covid-19 emergency.

Entrepreneurialism consellera Ana Juan said the aim was “to give islanders—whether they’re freelancers or business owners; whether in a group that’s particularly vulnerable or working at a company that has laid off or furloughed staff—a one-stop shop for information on easing measures, government support and any other Covid-related updates”.

Visitors to the site will find up-to-date details about benefits from various levels of government, measures implemented by the Consell and other administrations and unfolding changes to numerous public services. It will also serve as a clearing house for information about the distinct phases of lockdown easing, with a section of the site additionally containing widely accessible graphics-based explanations of the phased de-escalation.

Information on the new section is broken down into breaking news, social assistance, rentals, workers, freelancers, business owners, mobility, culture and more.

Phone support seven days a week from 8.00am to 8.30pm

Since the crisis began, the Consell has maintained an information service at 971 32 10 87 to field inquiries related to the emergency. Now with newly dedicated personnel and expanded hours, the service will be available from Monday to Sunday, 8.00am to 8.30pm. Staff have also begun answering questions about benefits and the multiple phases of the plan to relax confinement restrictions.

3 May 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera and sector leaders agree on economic roadmap through crisis

Alejandra Ferrer, Ana Juan and Bartomeu Escandell —the president, vice-president/trade chief and economy/tax office chief of the Consell, respectively— sat down today with representatives of the island’s small- and medium-sized business group, Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Hotels. Attendees discussed the roadmap of measures within local government jurisdiction which were hammered out with the sector in an effort to complement measures implemented by other levels of government like liquidity assistance for businesses and access to credit.

The Consell de Formentera has already announced it will not collect fees or taxes for the duration of the state of alarm. The period for voluntary payment of periodic taxes has also been extended until December 2020 for the following:

*Economic activity tax
*Special-characteristics real estate tax
*Rural real estate tax
*Urban real estate tax
*Mechanical traction vehicle tax
*Bicycle tax
*Occupation of public thoroughfare tax
*Waste collection tax
*Access rights for entrances/exits tax

Meeting attendees agreed that the Consell would implement the following measures:

Line of support for freelancers with commercial activity affected by emergency orders. The scope, scale and terms of assistance will be determined in accordance with available budget.

Line of support for small- and medium-sized businesses with commercial activity affected by emergency orders. The scope, scale and terms of assistance will be determined in accordance with available budget.

Extension of pay period to year’s end 2020 for fees associated with new tourism-related commercial enterprises and holiday rental permits.

Twelve-month extension of holiday rental permits.

Extension of the 2015-2019 plan for quality holiday rentals until 2022.

Full rebate on the public areas occupancy tax as it relates to itinerant markets. Vendors obliged to provide service.

Full rebate on the tax on terraces and other small-business use of public spaces from rollout of emergency orders to 31 December 2020. One-off elimination of compulsory minimums for commercial activity.

Thirty per cent reduction of coastal concessionnaires’ taxes. Reduction by coastal authority pending. Obligation to provide service.

Full rebate of tax on musical and other performances in establishments, one-off elimination of commercial activity compulsory minimums, easing of guidelines for mandated service provision.

Pending further review, assistance for financing costs due to debt from public health crisis-related drop in commercial activity.

Extension of construction execution periods and increasingly flexible extension request procedure.

One-off easing of summer works ordinance to allow commercial establishments to complete upgrades for summer season.

Full rebate of tax on dynamic advertising in taxis.

Urban improvement plan including provisions to hire local contractors and firms.

Other areas where negotiations will continue after initial agreements:

1- Blue Zone: At the outset, the work of parking attendants will remain key to ensuring vehicle rotation and sufficient parking in towns. Also crucial will be the establishment of vouchers for guests of overnight lodging or rollout of three-day parking allowance typically reserved for winter months.

2- Sustainable Tourism Tax: In order to ease the burden that direct estimations place on businesses, sustained pressure on the Govern will be crucial to ensuring a retooling of payment modalities on the basis of falling occupancy rates.

3- Pending decision by coastal authority re: parking fee collections, wait-and-see stance regarding entry checks at Ses Salines nature reserve. Area patrols and protections remain crucial.

4- Concerning reductions/rebates on real estate taxes and rubbish fees in 2020, these annual fees are calculated from 1 January, and authority to make such changes lies with the central government, which is therefore responsible for any delegating thereof that occurs this year.

Easing measures
At the meeting, representatives of the sector shared their thoughts about the early rollout of easing measures that Formentera and three of the Canary Islands will enjoy given low coronavirus case counts. Acting as an intermediary with the Govern balear, the Formentera Department of Trade will do its best to provide restaurant and hotel owners all information concerning safety measures during the easing process.

30 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Four local volunteer seamstresses crank out 300 masks for island shops

foto 2020 mascaretesThe Formentera Department of Commerce coordinated the production of three hundred masks by four local volunteer seamstresses. Department chief Ana Juan applauded the efforts of Josefina Mena, Pepita Gabaldar, Maria Luz Barales and Maria Juan Ferrer, not to mention local shops Teixits J. Marí Serra, La Caracola and Merceria Verdera for offering up free materials for the task.

“We are very grateful for the collaboration we’ve seen from normal islanders. So many individuals, businesses and groups reached out to the Consell to offer their help”, said consellera Juan, “and these masks are an example of that kind of altruistic service”.

The masks aren’t certified for use in healthcare, but afford a complementary protective barrier against the spread of Covid-19, and some have already been distributed across local businesses.

Additionally, interior conseller Josep Marí saluted two other local businesses for similar efforts: Taller San Fernanando Motor for sanitising Formentera Local Police cars at no charge and Can Teuet for providing Civil Protection corps with protective gear.

7 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera uses promotional campaign to boost local business amid health crisis

cartell 2020 compra a propThe Formentera Department of Trade has activated a campaign to support small businesses of the island authorised to continue operating during the state of emergency brought about by Covid-19.

Department chief Ana Juan said the aim was to both “spotlight these establishments and the importance of protecting Formentera’s community of traditional, local businesses” as well as “encouraging people to opt for locally-sourced products”.

Juan pointed out there are currently some thirty shopfronts open in Formentera’s main towns, and insisted the local government would keep supporting island businesses affected  by the situation even after the state of alarm was called off.

Taking shape across social and other digital media under the banner ‘Formentera is staying home and buying local’, the campaign is part of a local small business-backing push by the Balearic Islands’ Institute for Business Innovation (IDI).

In-store safety and control measures

Safety and control measures in response to the health crisis remain just as crucial today as when they were first implemented. They include respecting strategies in place to limit customer entry in stores, maintaining physical distancing of between 1.5 and 2 metres, using gloves when handling fruit, vegetables and other package-free bulk items and refraining from leaning on shop counters.

28 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Whizzes of marketing, communications and creativity return to island for latest FORMENTERA20

foto 2020 formentera20 1The Formentera Office of Tourism reports that from 7 to 10 May, Formentera20 will celebrate its eighth year as a meeting place where authorities on digital culture to share ideas and talent. Set in an array of local settings, the four-day event will embody the Formentera20 hashtag #DesconnectarPerConnectar [DisconnectToConnect].

Backed by the Consell de Formentera and part of the local publicity push known as Discover Formentera in May, the gathering was conceived as a way to, in the words of Formentera’s president and tourism chief, “create incentives and develop the island’s arsenal of culture- and fitness-related programming to draw tourists to Formentera in the low season”.

According to director Rosa Castells, Formentera20 is “a chance to network, share ideas, get inspired and learn about what’s happening in the digital world in the company of industry leaders and in the some of the island’s most breathtaking settings”.

Target audience
Formentera20 is for passionate professionals of the digital world—for communicators, marketing lovers and individuals who want to be in the know to better articulate their project or business proposal. Participants also share space, and that closeness makes it possible to have real networking and ideas exchange, which can serve as the catalysts for new projects. Castells says this is what makes Formentera20 truly unique.

2020 speakers:
Patricia Reis, VP Marketing, HBO www.hbo.es
Javier Pagán, Senior Manager of Entertainment & Telecoms, Amazon / www.amazon.com
Bruno Sellés, Creative Director and Founder of Vasava / www.vasava.es
Marilín Gonzalo, Digital Director of Newtral / www.newtral.es
Xisela López, Executive Creative Director of Sra. Rushmore / www.srarushmore.com
Juan Baixeras, VP Country Manager of AUDIBLE / www.audible.es
Ricard Castellet, CCO of Barcelona TechCity / www.barcelonatechcity.com
Cristina Ribas, Director of Digital Communications for Ajuntament de Barcelona / www.barcelona.cat

Interested parties can find out more and sign up at www.formentera20.com. Space is limited. In order to encourage participation, Formentera residents are eligible for a 50% discount.

6 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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