Business Owners Ask Croatian Government: When Can We Start Work?

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik wrires, although the current epidemiological measures which were adopted at the end of last year will cease in a few days, when it comes to precisely what will happen next, no one knows.

”In any case, the Croatian Government must adopt quality economic measures as soon as possible, because the problems we’ve been talking about for months haven’t just disappeared,” writes the Association of Entrepreneurs.

”Recently, the Voice of the Entrepreneurs (Glas Poduzetnika) Association sent a letter to the Croatian Government and the National Civil Protection Headquarters, in which we asked them to inform business owners about further economic and epidemiological measures as soon as possible. Namely, it was announced that the measures will last until January the 8th, 2021, of which we’re not far away from. Business owners and artisans who had to close their doors now don’t know when they’ll be able to continue doing business at all.

There is no information on whether such people will be able to continue working or whether the restrictive measures will be extended. We consider that to be inadmissible.

We believe that the Croatian Government and the National Civil Protection Headquarters should inform business owners and craftsmen about further steps as soon as possible. Uncertainty has been going on for more than nine months for many and the situation is getting worse. Moreover, we still don’t have an answer to the question about compensation for activities that are prevented from operating due to the measures. Business owners are interested in whether the Croatian Government will compensate them for the huge losses incurred due to business restrictions? Furthermore, many activities that aren’t formally closed, such as passenger transport and travel agencies, are failing. Unfortunately, more and more people end up at the Croatian Employment Service, and we currently have 160,000 unemployed people. We believe that this trend will continue if quality economic measures aren’t adopted soon.

We’re fully aware of the new crisis we’re experiencing, and we’ve transferred our available resources to help Sisak-Moslavina County, but the problems caused by the coronavirus crisis that brought tens of thousands of companies to their knees haven’t simply disappeared. As a reminder, job preservation grants aren’t an aid measure for business owners. In addition, this measure won’t save the business of companies nor will it enable the recovery of the economy.

Many UGP committees sent out letters proposing measures that would allow companies and crafts to survive, however, they never received any responses. Business owners are being left to fend for themselves again, without any information on when they’ll be able to resume work. We appeal to the Croatian Government to make decisions on the measures as soon as possible and to inform those affected about this.

Business owners showed care and solidarity in the period following the earthquake in Petrinja, and by working out in the field and donating goods and money, they came to the aid of the victims, but soon they will have to start thinking about their own survival again,” reads the letter from the aforementioned association.

“We hope that the Croatian Government has an agenda and that in the next few months it will make sure that business owners and entrepreneurship don’t enter even more troubled waters, and that the proper conditions for survival in this situation are provided. Legal changes, write-offs of taxes and contributions for the affected areas and the abolition of VAT payments for donated goods are necessary. Instead, the Croatian Government is proposing new commitments and various unnecessary Regulations on monitoring and reporting on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and measures to help the economy. In that way, it’s merely createing yet more new and unnecessary paperwork, while the number of failing companies and the number of unemployed people is growing unstoppably day by day,” said Drazen Orescanin, the executive director of the association.

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