Part of the Food Policy Snapshot Series
Policy name: Plan de Refuerzo (“Reinforcement Plan”)
Overview: In December 2020 Spain passed a COVID-19 relief plan for businesses in the hospitality industry that includes requiring landlords cut rent by 50 percent for many restaurants and bars.
Population: 46.8 million
Food policy category: Food service
Program goals: To support restaurants and bars that have been struggling due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
How it works: The relief package includes a variety of measures meant to help hospitality business owners increase their liquid assets:
Progress to date: The Spanish government had been considering various relief plans for months before approving the Plan de Refuerzo.
Why it is important: Spain is known for its nightlife, including late-night dining, which means that curfews and other dining restrictions imposed because of the pandemic have forced the Spanish people to change their culture. As a result, the restaurant sector lost 50 percent of its revenue, amounting to 60 billion euros ($73.3 billion). Between 85,000 and 100,000 establishments were forced to close in 2020, and more than half of restaurant sector workers lost their jobs or were at risk of losing them.
The Plan de Refuerzo is intended to relieve some of these financial burdens and reinvigorate the hospitality industry.
Program/Policy initiated: The plan passed on December 22, 2020.
Point of contact: N/A
Similar practices: No other countries have reported taking similar measures.
Evaluation: While no official evaluation has yet taken place, some business owners have said that the relief is insufficient or coming too late.