COVID-19: Aid for Omicron-impacted businesses approved by Knesset

The amount of the grant will change depending on the turnover of the business in a base year.

A mall in Israel opens up after the country's third coronavirus lockdown. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A mall in Israel opens up after the country's third coronavirus lockdown.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Small and medium-sized businesses impacted by the Omicron outbreak will receive an aid grant, according to a new law approved by the Knesset on Thursday.

The grant will be available to businesses with a turnover of between NIS 18,000 to 80 million which experienced a decrease of 25% in their turnover during the Omicron outbreak, compared to their turnover in the base year.

The amount of the grant will change depending on the turnover of the business in a base year. For example, small businesses with a turnover of up to NIS 30,000 could receive a grant between NIS 4,350 to 9350.

"During the months of January and February in 2022, the main spread of the Omicron strain of the novel coronavirus occurred in Israel," read the explanatory note of the law. "The infection rate of the strain was very high relative to previous strains and resulted in a large group of the population becoming ill or staying in quarantine on a large scale compared to the previous infection waves."

"As a result, the regular economic activity of some of the businesses, mainly in the retail sector, was hampered for a long time, after two years in which the government imposed significant restrictions on the opening of businesses and the presence of employees in the workplace," added the explanatory note.

Stores in Jerusalem's Mamilla mall are seen closed amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, on January 14, 2021. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)Stores in Jerusalem's Mamilla mall are seen closed amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, on January 14, 2021. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

"Although the extent of economic damage is lower than the first waves of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, some businesses have experienced a decline in turnover as part of dealing with the economic impact of the spread of the Omicron strain in January and February in 2022."

The explanatory note stressed that small businesses have a higher volume of fixed expenses relative to their turnover compared to large businesses, making them more exposed to economic damage during a crisis.