Government revises policy on aid for restaurants asked to cut hours

Japan Times -- Apr 03
The government on Thursday decided a new policy of providing different amounts of aid to eating and drinking facilities that accept requests to cut opening hours in areas under states of emergency related to COVID-19, or new countermeasures against the disease, based on the size of their operations.

The move is designed to encourage cooperation with such requests from as many businesses as possible.

The government will apply the policy to six cities where new countermeasures will be imposed for one month from Monday. The six cities are Osaka, Kobe, the cities of Nishinomiya, Amagasaki and Ashiya in Hyogo Prefecture, and Sendai.

The government decided to introduce new COVID-19 countermeasures for Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi prefectures on Thursday, with measures to curb infections set to be taken intensively in the six cities during the one-month period.

Under the previous aid system, up to 60,000 was paid per day for each outlet, regardless of business size.

But this was unpopular among large restaurant and pub chain operators, with many of them complaining that the amounts were not enough to cover labor and other expenses.

Eating and drinking establishments run by small companies will receive daily aid equivalent to 40% of their one-day sales in the previous business year or the year before that, with an upper limit set at 100,000, if they are asked to close at 8 p.m. or earlier. A facility with daily sales of 100,000, for example, will get 40,000 per day. The aid amount will be 100,000 for a facility with daily sales of 250,000 or more.

- Japan Times