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Business representatives address government with 7 point plan

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, February 18
Due to the crisis caused by the lockdown, 10 business associations sent a 7-point appeal to the Prime Minister of Georgia and the Interagency Coordination Council.

Representatives of various businesses emphasize that the epidemic situation has significantly improved with the joint efforts of doctors, businesses, government agencies and the population, but it is important to take bold steps to accelerate the process of recovery from the severe economic and social crisis. Business associations suggest considering:

1. Postponement of the start time of the "curfew" for 2 hours, from 23:00. This will significantly reduce the pressure on public transport during the peak period and also, will give a tangible economic result to the business sector.

2. Removal of weekend work restrictions for business sectors that are allowed to work on weekdays. This issue is especially critical for the retail sector, which generates 40% of its turnover on weekends.

3. Development of specific anti-crisis packages taking into account the specifics of the sector, which will actually allow individual sectors to be operated promptly. For example, there is talk of giving discounts to shopping malls in terms of 2021 property tax exemptions.

4. From 22 February, allow the restaurant / catering business to work indoors, regarding the subject to the relevant strict regulations, on which the representatives of the industry have developed specific proposals.

5. Opening of mountain resorts from 22 February. Despite the literally ending winter season, hotels and locals will be able to generate minimal incomes to avoid complete collapse and bankruptcy.

6. The Business Ombudsman of Georgia shall be elected and appointed in direct consultation with the business sector and with direct participation. In this regard, we are ready to participate in the development of the relevant model, which also means financing the activities of the ombudsman's office from the business sector.

7. Due to high social responsibility, we declare our readiness to be involved in the process of importing the vaccine and rapid vaccination in Georgia, finding and using relevant business contacts and financial resources.

Representatives of business associations are demanding, with the direct participation of the Prime Minister, a working meeting with epidemiologists, the government's economic team and experts to work together to find ways to quickly pull the economy out of the crisis.

The application is signed by Associations of Georgian Restaurants, Gastronomy, Retailers Association, Distributors; Taxpayers Union, Producers Federation, Shopping Association, Transport and Roads Association, “Mountain Resorts Business Association” and Georgian Hotels Federation.

As announced early this week, the economy minister said she plans to meet with the restaurant business next week.