“Our message lands,” says Inretail, the trade association of non-food stores. “It is good that additional support is being announced, but there is no reason to cheer as long as details are missing.”
The retailers hope that there will soon be clarity about the expansion of the corona support. “Every day counts. The new season is upon us and the spring goods are being delivered, but cannot be paid for. The shops are overflowing with winter goods and the money is lacking. ”
In the press conference in which Rutte announced that the lockdown will last three weeks longer, he explicitly reflected on the entrepreneurial suffering. “This is a very difficult message for entrepreneurs. The socio-economic consequences are enormous. ”
The prime minister spoke of “heartbreaking” stories he hears from entrepreneurs. “We cannot alleviate all the pain for all entrepreneurs, but we want to pull as many companies and jobs as possible through this crisis.”
Foreman Hans Biesheuvel of the ONL business club is happy that Rutte has an eye for entrepreneurs. “That is very good of him. This was sometimes lacking in previous press conferences. ” According to ONL, the extended lockdown is “disastrous for SMEs”. Biesheuvel has submitted a series of proposals to the cabinet for additional support.
In the coming days, the cabinet will work out a plan for additional support on top of the existing measures that will compensate large parts of the wage costs and fixed costs. “More is needed,” said Rutte. “That is a matter of decency and solidarity.”
There is some relief in the supermarket sector that a curfew is not immediately imposed. The Central Bureau for Food Trade is monitoring the situation. “We follow the guidelines of the government. Should there be a curfew, in whatever form, we will examine with our members exactly what the consequences are, ”said a spokesman.
Retail chains such as Hema, Wibra and Action will remain closed. There are exceptions. Supermarkets, drugstores, pet stores, wholesalers and petrol stations, for example, will remain open. This also applies to the local greengrocer, butcher and baker. Companies and institutions, united in BIZ Museum Quarter Amsterdam, therefore call on the cabinet to investigate whether it is possible to return to the intelligent lockdown of last spring. “At the time, the entrepreneurs clearly showed that safe and responsible purchases are particularly successful at the unnecessary stores.”
Trade union FNV is concerned about the consequences of closing schools and working from home. “You can see that a lot of people walk on their gums,” says FNV leader Han Busker. “Working from home takes its toll, and many parents are struggling with combining work, caring for young children and supervising homeschooling.”
The three joint unions FNV, CNV and VCP argue for corona leave. People who cannot combine home work and home education could then take leave. “Employers can be compensated for this from the government.”
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