Finance

Furious entrepreneurs demand compensation for early closure of the catering industry

MKB-Nederland does not consider it fair that the catering industry, the retail trade and the event industry once again have to suffer. “Entrepreneurs should not be the victims of the problems in healthcare,” said spokesman Edwin van Scherrenburg. “You’ll just be dependent on late night shopping.”

Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN) is a lot fiercer in his words. According to the lobby, ‘the limit has been reached’ and many catering establishments will not care about the forced closure. “The cabinet has crossed a line and for many this is the time to draw a line,” said chairman Robèr Willemsen.

Division in the catering industry

But not all restaurateurs agree. For example, Arlo Vlaar of restaurant Vlaar in ‘s Graveland tells RTL Z that the sector is partly to blame for the closure. “Half of them did not participate in the QR code.” He therefore does not support Willemsen’s call to remain open. “We must put on the robes of penance.”

According to the FNV, the catering industry must ‘bleed again’ for the failing cabinet policy. The union is mainly concerned about the future of the sector. In the past eighteen months, many staff turned their backs on the hospitality industry, which has only increased the existing staff shortage.

In a digital consultation, the employers’ associations and trade unions urged the outgoing cabinet this morning to breathe new life into the corona support that ended last month. This concerns both the NOW (salary support to employees) and the TVL (allowance for fixed costs).

“If you are obliged to close your tent, compensation is no more than normal,” says SME spokesperson Van Scherrenburg. Willemsen will only be satisfied with full compensation. “It seems clear to me that they should come up with 100 percent compensation in this case.”

Partial lockdown

Outgoing State Secretary Dennis Wiersma, who has been responsible for the economic support packages since the departure of Wouter Koolmees, did not want to say much about any additional support today. “I understand the concern very well, of course I have it myself”, was all he wanted to say before the start of the Council of Ministers.

Yesterday it leaked that non-essential shops and catering establishments have to close their doors early for three weeks from Saturday 13 November. Initially at 19.00, but just before the press conference on Friday it was announced that the closing time will be 20.00.

With this partial lockdown, the cabinet hopes to stop the rapidly rising number of corona infections.

But according to KHN, which represents the interests of more than 19,000 catering entrepreneurs, those infections in the catering industry are not that bad. The lobby group bases this on data from the RIVM, which shows that only 2.9 percent of the infections take place in the catering industry.

Already 80 billion corona support

Although that 2.9 percent is in the table of the RIVM, it only refers to the infections whose suspected source has been found on the basis of the source and contact investigation. In more than 70 percent of the cases, no source was found at all.

Tonight at 7 p.m. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and healthcare minister Hugo de Jonge will give a press conference in which the new corona measures are explained. Unions and employers assume that the ministers will already say something about a new round of corona support.

At the end of September, almost all generic support measures taken by the cabinet due to the pandemic ended. Only the night catering industry, which is still closed, can still claim financial aid. In total, the cabinet has paid out more than 80 billion euros in corona support.

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