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LatinNews Daily - 16 February 2021

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In brief: Chilean gov’t launches support plan for tourism & creative industries

* Chile’s economy, development & tourism minister, Lucas Palacios, has announced a plan to support the tourism and creative industry sectors, as they continue to be squeezed by the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and accompanying restrictions. The plan involves four branches: credit lines through the Fogape Reactiva programme (a fund for small businesses); flexibility where the employment protection law is concerned; dedicated programmes through the state-run bank Banco Estado; and access to subsidies for businesses, with a total Cl$55bn (US$76.5m) being assigned to the sector. Of these, Cl$50bn will be destined for businesses in the tourism industry, and Cl$5bn for those in culture & arts. “This is an unprecedented programme in its size and reach. This is the first time that this many resources are being destined to specific sectors”, Palacios said. The deputy minister for tourism, José Luis Uriarte, outlined that the non-reimbursable direct transfers will finance up to 70% of tourism companies’ business plans, and aim to reach 20,000 businesses. Businesses can start applying for the subsidies this week.