Jerusalem's Old City and the Temple Mount.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The cabinet on Sunday approved a NIS 100 million plan to strengthen Jerusalem’s economy, focusing on developing the private sector, shoring up tourism, and boosting industry.
“Today, we strengthen Jerusalem’s citizens and the small and medium businesses during a time that is not easy, and say to them that we are here for you,” said Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, adding that the allocation was designed to apply funds toward helping people directly.
The plan, which Kahlon presented alongside Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Ze’ev Elkin, would give NIS 70 million to the Jerusalem Development Authority, the main body dealing with economically revitalizing Jerusalem.
Another NIS 5 million would be added to a fund that gives loans with favorable terms to small businesses.
The program would also reduce the burden of payments and debt collection on some small businesses that have been affected by the security situation in the city.
NIS 20 million of the funds would go toward a marketing campaign focusing on Jerusalem specifically. Tourism still has not recovered to the peaks it reached before Operation Protective Edge, the 2014 summer war with Gaza.
Additional funds would go toward the goal of increasing the number of students in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, the Appeals Committee for National Planning and Construction approved an urban renewal plan for quarters 3 and 4 in Tel Aviv, which will preserve historic buildings, help retrofit buildings to stand up to earthquakes, and set out building and design specifications for new buildings in those parts of the city.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat praised the move, saying that he was confident the government “can find a way to ensure that Jerusalem does not slide backward, and that the growth trends will continue, placing Jerusalem in the appropriate standing for Israel’s capital city.”