As soon as the first Covid-19 cases appeared in Aguascalientes last March, the State Government started working on public health measures and devised a plan to address the sweeping economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
Food assistance and economic aid were offered to self-employed members of society, subsidies and loans were provided to small and medium-sized businesses, and even government debts were cancelled. These actions belong to the first phase of an all-embracing strategy to bolster the safety net for workers during the health crisis
The second phase of the strategy, the Economic Reactivation Plan, was announced shortly afterwards to support the sectors that were most harshly affected during the four months of the coronavirus lockdown. The Department for Economic Development (SEDEC), the Department of Rural Development and Agribusiness (SEDRAE), and the Department of Tourism (SECTUR) are actively involved in these efforts.
After deep budget restructuring to prioritize programs and resources, a series of measures, divided into eight categories, were approved to solve each sector’s needs, totaling a $5.8 billion public investment.
Which are these measures?
1. Promoting local consumption and electronic commerce
Through seven actions and an investment of $7.5 million, an advertising campaign will be launched to help local brands promote their products. A distinctive label will also be created for micro companies like grocery stores. Business owners will also be benefited thanks to the point of sales terminals that will be installed in their shops for electronic commerce. Electronic commerce is key to the strategy because it allows for local products—wines included—to be promoted on different platforms and reach markets outside the state.
2. Tourism Reactivation
A total of $68 million will be invested to promote one of the most affected sectors and help organize the Calaveras Festival, the Meta Fest, and the Villa Navidad Festival.
The Wine Trail, to be held September 3-6, will include a series of activities in different wineries across the state. An important sum will be invested in road signs, infrastructure, and equipment to help promote the Wine Train nationwide.
Moreover, training courses are being offered to help tourism workers from hotels, restaurants, spas, and taxicab services.
3. Strategy to Promote Aguascalientes State.
A $7 million injection of funds will be used for promotional meetings, both virtual and in-person, to attract foreign investment and strengthen the supply chain of Aguascalientes. Other actions include bolstering the Aguascalientes Exports Program and creating an Industrial Expo to help micro, small, and medium-sized companies start relations with national corporations.
4. Increasing the State’s Competitiveness
This measure intends to increase digital services offered by the government, including platforms and apps that speed up processes. Furthermore, it aims at boosting the creation of MSMEs that promote self-employment and restructuring the State Council for Economic Development of Aguascalientes (CEDEA) to improve public policy on economic matters.
5. Public-Private Investment Projects
Through a series of cooperation efforts between the government and the private enterprise, different spaces in the city will be renovated. One of these places is the Tres Centurias Complex, where a shopping and entertainment center, and one extra thousand parking boxes, will be constructed. The Hacienda de Peñuelas will also get restoration works, with a project that includes building a hotel boutique, a spa, and a museum.
6. Reactivation of Public Works
The State Government will boost the reactivation of public works through restoration and modernization projects in public industrial parks.
7. Emergency Capitalization Program
Infrastructure projects will receive economic aid from the sale of thirty-three government-owned immovable assets, the Stabilization Fund, and the Financial System of Aguascalientes.
8. Employability Policy
A $20 million injection of funds will be used for temporary job programs that guarantee employees get paid the minimum wage for three months