Representatives of the Georgian hospitality industry have released an open letter directed to the Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, specifying the extremely serious problems the industry has to face during the pandemic and expressing their concern related to further aggravated situation caused by the tightened and expanded restrictions.
“First of all, we would like to inform you that the hospitality industry faced extremely serious problems during the pandemic, which initially was due to the closure of the country’s borders and the complete shortage of tourists, and now the tightening of isolation and quarantine rules in the big cities of the country.
We appeal to you in order to save the hospitality industry in a pandemic and to promote economic activity and offer a unified vision for problem-solving, where the balance between private and public interests is maximized. In particular:
1. During the 2-month limitation period, the state to provide compensation of 50% of the declared salary of people employed in the hospitality sector. We also offer the example of other countries and provide the hospitality industry with 0% long-term loans so that industry representatives can pay salaries for at least employees.
2. We are ready, in the shortest possible time (maximum 5 days), together with the state, to develop additional regulations to renew the work process in the field of hospitality.
3. Financial institutions refuse to lend to restaurants and cafes, as well as to those who work there. This action of the banks further worsens the situation of the persons working in the field. Based on the above, we ask you to take into account the current situation and the state to become a financial guarantor of the representatives of the hospitality industry, both legal entities and individuals, with the banking sector.
4. In case of reviewing/subsidizing the loan obligations of the representatives of the hospitality sector, the personal loan obligations of the founders of restaurants or cafes / bars should be considered individually, so that, if the purpose of these loans goes to the money spent on restaurants/cafes / bars, these liabilities to be included in the loan package to cover business liabilities.
5. Given the extremely difficult economic situation, we ask you to consider the issue of easing the tax burden for one year, in particular, the reduction of the VAT rate for the hospitality industry. We also express our readiness to present our visions on this issue.
6. Given the dire employment situation in the country and in order to maximize the retention of employees, we appeal to you again us to be eligible to use the Income Tax Subsidy Program for at least one year”, - reads the leter.
The initiative is signed by 35 food establishments so far.