I hope our cities get through the corona crisis with the help of the government's billion measures. But it doesn't hurt if we help others too?
By Marie Olaussen, social editor in Tønsbergs Blad
For over a year I have been talking about savings and lower consumption. It is wise to spend less money than we make. It's a good idea to have a buffer account, so we know we can withstand a noise – if the washing machine smokes and a root canal from the dentist strikes the same week. No one had ever imagined that the whole world would smoke at the same time.
- I didn't know much about finances in January 2019. I know a lot more now. It is useful.
- I didn't know much about pandemics in January 2020. I know a lot more now. It's very smart.
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I wash my hands, keep a distance in the queue at Coop, cough in the elbow and stay in the home office. My tasks can be accomplished from here. But that's not the case with everyone else. And I'm worried about how it's going to go. Both with the sick and old and with the local business community.
We report on local companies that are laying off. Life is dormant, and most people who don't have to go out to work or shop stay home. Therefore, Quality Hotel Tønsberg had to lay off 12 employees before the weekend. The coffee queen Kjersti With has laid off 13 employees. Hotell Klubben has already closed its doors completely.
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All the events in the cultural houses are canceled. Even the airlines use the big ones: SAS leaves 90 per cent of its employees, while Norwegian puts 85 per cent of its departures on the ground. All over the world there are Norwegians who want to go home, while Danish nurses employed in Norway race home across the Kattegat before Denmark closes the borders completely.
We are lucky in Norway. Norway has the world's largest buffer account. And right now, the parliament is finding economic instruments that we have not seen before. On Friday, Erna presented a crisis package for business of NOK 6.5 billion. On Sunday night, she launched a loan and guarantee scheme for Norwegian business of at least NOK 100 billion.
It is intended to help businesses that banks believe can help the crisis survive through empty order books, cancellations and other pandemic consequences. In addition, there are changes in the regulations, which make the economic life a little easier for many:
- Employees who are or are being laid off now receive 20 days full pay, not two days as first announced. The state takes this bill.
- Freelancers and self-employed people can use a scheme that guarantees you 80 percent of your average income over the last three years. This is limited upwards to just under NOK 600,000 (ie 6G).
- Businessmen who would pay advance tax on March 15 will be delayed until 1 May.
- The period of care allowance for those who have to stay home with children since school and daycare is closed is doubled to 20 days.
Storting and government cannot cover all the losses that come in the wake of the Covid-19 virus. Some companies will go doll. But we who have the opportunity can help with what we can.
Read more relevant comments in Nettavisen
I will still be able to go to a cafe when the crisis is quenched, I would like to be able to shop in the local shops. Today I made the morning coffee myself, and at the same time tilted a five-cup app to my local coffee shop LilleHolmestrand.
It may not matter much. But if we are more people who remember that someone needs our money to stay afloat, it might help a little. I hope important local meeting places and work places pass through the storm.