Algarve hotels call for “extended deadlines and adjustments” to government’s support measures

The Algarve’s hotelier association (AHETA) is calling for “extended deadlines and adjustments” to the support measures that the government has announced to help businesses face the coronavirus outbreak.

While the association recognises that the measures are positive and meet the needs of companies, the hoteliers believe they could still use some amendments.

In a statement sent to newsrooms this Thursday, the association says these adjustments are especially needed in the Algarve, where hotels and tourist establishments are facing an “unprecedented crisis” which nobody knows when it will end.

Thus, AHETA is urging the government to implement the measures urgently so that the region’s businesses can start tackling the “enormous economic and financial difficulties” they are facing.

Here’s the full list of suggestions presented by AHETA:
• The suspension of the payment of taxes should be extended for a period of six months.

• Social contributions and taxes should be abolished for six months.

• Payment of water, electricity and gas bills should be suspended for six months.

• The government should immediately approve/implement a moratorium suspending the obligation to pay back debts and interest for six months.

• Abolish the “20% business volume drop” rule to access the €900 million credit line as, at least in the Algarve, the first two months of the year were better than those in 2019.

• The credit line sum should be increased.

• These credit lines should be medium-term (six years) and the interest rate should not top 1% and should have a two-year grace period.

• Workers who are forced to miss work to help family members should benefit from medical leave, as stipulated in the Work Code, exempting companies from paying salaries when workers are not performing any activities.

• Abolish the demand for an abrupt year-on-year drop of 40% in invoicing for companies to declare a state of crisis, allowing companies to temporarily close down.

• The simplified lay-off regime should be clarified, be more flexible and less punishing for companies.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com