WKÖ appeal to the federal government to give the companies legal security and economic prospects.
The government has already announced several times that sales will be replaced by companies that supply the hotel and catering industry – first for the end of December, then for the end of January. Bakers, brewers, winemakers, florists, wholesalers and many other suppliers can still not apply for help. This also called the Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ) on Tuesday, which demands that “companies must finally be able to apply for the promised lockdown aid”.
After all, it is not only the catering and hotel industry themselves that have been severely affected by the lockdown since the beginning of November 2020, but also with them “thousands of suppliers – from food wholesalers to fruit and vegetable dealers to wine dealers and florists who have been struggling with sometimes massive sales losses for months”.
“The catering suppliers now finally need legal certainty and a clear economic perspective”, demanded Christian Prauchner, chairman of the food trade of the WKÖ. The companies were “desperately waiting to finally be able to submit an application for aid for November and December. This is not possible without the overdue Revenue Replacement Directive.”
Criticism for lack of help
“Although we welcome the fact that the catering sector received generous sales compensation even for November and December. What we do not accept, however, is that the suppliers, who are also suffering severely from the closings, are still relying on the promised assistance after more than three months of lockdown wait “, criticized Gerhard Wohlmuth, chairman of the agricultural trade in the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ). He also warned of many bankruptcies, if help did not come quickly.
“In addition, those suppliers who – like countless fruit and vegetable dealers or wine dealers – deliver to the catering industry via intermediaries and therefore are unlikely to receive any sales compensation under the new directive,” reminded Christoph Tamandl, Managing Director of the food trade and agricultural trade, must never fall by the wayside WKÖ. For them, the fixed cost subsidy II – supplemented by the default bonus from a 40 percent decline in sales – represents a vital lifeline. These companies require a commitment from the government that the default bonus can also be claimed retrospectively.