The event was held with great success through a video conference on “pandemic and food service“, as seen by the Presidents of more than 40 Chambers across the country.
The President of the Central Union of Chambers of Greece (KEEE) Mr. Giannis Chatzitheodosiou who took the initiative, together with the President of GSEVEE and the Panhellenic Federation of Restaurants and Related Professions Mr. Giorgos Kavvathas, had the opportunity to brief the Deputy Minister Mr. Theodoros Skylakakis on the problems of the industry, who was invited to the teleconference.
The new support measures announced by the Minister
Mr. Skylakakis, for his part, stressed that the economic policy of the country is specific, said that last year’s budget was closed, while he estimated that 2022 will be a very good year.
Regarding the problems faced by the food service sector, he announced that in cooperation with the competent Minister of Environment and Energy Mr. Skrekas, they are considering a new program “Exoikonomo” exclusively for small and medium enterprises amounting to 450 million euros.
Also, there will be a corresponding program of 450 million euros in collaboration with the Minister of Digital Government Mr. K. Pierrakakis for digital investments in SMEs.
Regarding the needs for the area of North Evia that has been affected by natural disasters, he announced a six-month extension for the stipends that the taxpayers have to pay.
The president of Union of Hellenic Chambers welcomed the measures announced by the Deputy Minister of Finance, stating characteristically: “It is in the interest of the government to receive less each month from each debtor, than not to receive at all because he will be forced to bankruptcy.”
All the members of the Chambers that spoke, expressed to the Deputy Minister of Finance in the darkest colors, the economic situation that prevails in the food service sector and its consequences due to the health crisis. The lack of staff, the need for measures to support businesses not to close, the subsidies for rent and energy equipment, but also development programs through the NSRF and the Recovery Fund are one way.
The president of KEEE Mr. Giannis Chatzitheodosiou pointed out that there is an absolute need to immediately strengthen the liquidity of the affected companies and submitted specific proposals to support these companies such as:
· Business rent exemption for the duration of the pandemic.
· The non-return of the repayable advance received by the companies.
· Increase the subsidy rate of energy costs.
· Reduction of VAT on product prices.
· Increase of installments, from 72 to 120, for the companies that were affected.
Utilization of the resources of the Recovery Fund.
In the same vein and the President of GSEVEE Mr. George Kavvathas who pointed out that comparatively the restaurant sector lost about 1 billion euros compared to the first quarter of 2020, while according to the Bank of Greece these companies will need a lot help to stand on their own two feet. He also called for state support for catering businesses that face the highest energy costs due to price increases.
The teleconference was attended by more than 40 Presidents of Chambers.