Agricultural trade chairman Wohlmuth: “Pay out approved aid payments quickly and unbureaucratically to avoid a wave of bankruptcies in the industry.”
“Since the beginning of the gastro lockdown at the beginning of November, thousands of domestic suppliers – from fruit and vegetable traders to wine dealers to food wholesalers – have been struggling with a massive slump in sales. The extension of the gastro lockdown until Easter exacerbates the acute liquidity needs of these companies,” said Gerhard Wohlmuth , Chairman of the Agricultural Trade in the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ). The aid that has now been decided for the companies indirectly affected by the lockdown is therefore an important and long-awaited signal.
“In lengthy negotiations with the government, the Chamber of Commerce succeeded in giving the catering suppliers not only legal certainty with the revenue replacement II and the failure bonus for the fixed cost subsidy II, but also an economic perspective,” says Wohlmuth. And he adds: “The aid that has been decided must now be paid out quickly and unbureaucratically in order to prevent a wave of bankruptcies in the industry.”
Retroactive cancellation bonus is an important signal
“The sales substitute II is an important auxiliary model for suppliers who were particularly badly affected by the gastro lockdown in November and December,” emphasized Christian Prauchner, chairman of the WKÖ’s grocery trade, in a broadcast.
“At the same time, we expect that numerous mixed businesses in particular, who supply other downstream areas in addition to the catering trade, will not meet the strict entry criteria of 50 percent sales correlation or 40 percent loss of sales. For these retailers as well as for businesses that indirectly go to the catering trade via intermediaries deliver and are therefore not entitled to sales replacement II, the default bonus to the fixed cost subsidy or loss compensation is a particularly important instrument, “continues Prauchner.
“We expressly welcome the fact that the federal government has taken up the WKÖ’s demand to also pay out the default bonus for these companies retrospectively for November and December.”
Raising the aid framework is the right step
“With the simultaneous significant increase in the aid framework for fixed cost subsidies from EUR 800,000 to EUR 1.8 million or from EUR 3 million to EUR 10 million for loss compensation, we have also succeeded in enforcing another central demand of the WKÖ in the interests of our member companies”, shows Christoph Tamandl, managing director of the food trade and agricultural trade in the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, satisfied.
“Especially for medium-sized and larger trading companies, the previous cap on the fixed cost subsidy of a maximum of 800,000 euros was inadequate in view of the sometimes massive slump in sales.”
“The domestic suppliers are crucial for restarting the Austrian gastronomy and hotel industry after the lockdown. The liquidity injections that have now been decided are therefore an important step towards restarting these branches of industry that are so important for Austria after the crisis,” concluded Tamandl.