ZAGREB, Nov 26 (Hina) – After presenting a set of new restrictions including the closing of restaurants, cafes, gym and fitness centres in the coming weeks, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday that the economic compensatory measures for those businesses would be considered on Friday morning.
The premier said that all ministers concerned with economy-related departments would hold a meeting on Friday morning with owners and managers of the businesses affected by the latest anti-COVID measures to discuss counter-measures aimed at easing this situation.
In that context, he recalled job-retention measures, including a 4,000 kuna grant per employee per month for the worst-hit businesses and other steps taken in the spring.
The government and the state-run HAMAG-BICRO agency will undertake some other steps such as loans for these businesses.
Plenkovic said that additional measures would also be considered and underscored that his cabinet was against a full lock-down of the enterprise sector.
Bar and restaurant owners on Thursday proposed two sets of measures that could help them survive the new lockdown, saying at a conference organised by the Croatian Employers Associations that many would go bankrupt otherwise.
The president of the national association of bar and restaurant owners, Marin Medak, said the first model envisaged long-term compensation by slashing VAT to 5% for three years and to 13% in the long term, and providing job-retention aid until April 2021, i.e. HRK 4,000 per employee and writing off taxes and contributions until 1 May 2021.
They also propose compensation of €10 per square metre of their establishment, COVID loans to ensure liquidity for three years and a moratorium on loan payments for businesses that are not allowed to work.
The second model envisages ensuring revenue for entrepreneurs in the amount of 50% of their turnover at the same time a year ago as a direct grant which would also be used for salaries, including a contribution write-off.
This model also envisages exemption from all fixed liabilities for the duration of the lockdown, including rent and utilities. Bar and restaurant owners also propose exemption from parafiscal levies.
Medak said they acknowledged the extent of the pandemic crisis and were unanimous that the most important thing was to keep their businesses going and prevent layoffs that would ensue without adequate lockdown compensation measures.
The government decided today that as of Saturday, bars and restaurants will be closed until before Christmas.