Mexico City will offer 25,000-peso loans (approximately US $1,072) to some 100,000 itinerant market vendors in the city who have had to close their stalls due to the coronavirus.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced yesterday at a virtual press conference that the federal loans would be made available this month and payable over the course of three years, with a four-month grace period and 0% interest for those who work in street markets and bazaars.
Government workers in Mexico City’s 16 boroughs will conduct a telephone survey of open-air market vendors, the government will evaluate the information provided and guard against duplicates, and then the funds will be released through banks.
The process will be carried out regardless of the political affiliation of vendors, and the loans will be distributed directly to individuals, Sheinbaum said.
The loans are an attempt to keep Mexico City’s 1,500 street markets shuttered and thus prevent the spread of the coronavirus, effectively paying vendors to stay home.
In Iztapalapa, Mayor Clara Brugada said that not a single mobile street market out of the 354 in her borough has opened for the past 16 days. The situation is similar in Iztacalco where 36 informal market organizations have suspended their activities, as requested by Mexico City officials.
The city’s loan program is the same as that offered to small businesses by the federal government, although the latter charges borrowers interest based on the Bank of México’s benchmark rate, currently 5.5%.
Source: Milenio (sp)