The association welcomed the fact that as of 15 February, gyms, fitness centres, betting shops, casinos and foreign language schools will be allowed to reopen and bars to sell coffee and other beverages to go.
However, that is not enough and the government keeps ignoring the event industry, occasional passenger transport, travel agencies and many other activities which have been closed for almost a year, the association said in a press release.
Many micro, small and medium businesses will fold because the government has not adopted adequate economic measures since the start of the epidemic, the association said, demanding compensation of at least HRK 100,000 per business with a minimum 60% drop in turnover as well as that all businesses with a major drop in turnover be reimbursed for their fixed costs.
Measures are being adopted only for job-retention, while business costs are much higher and credit lines and grants are difficult to obtain, the association said.
Association president Hrvoje Bujas said that if the government had the money to buy fighter jets and energy group MOL’s stake in INA, it should have the money “to adequately compensate entrepreneurs.”
The association said that although restrictions were being eased, the criteria were still not equal, noting that gyms were allowed to reopen but sport centres and dance schools were not, as were casinos but bars and restaurants with outdoor terraces were not.
It urged the government and the national COVID-19 response team “to finally align all the measures and adapt them to the current situation.”