Сall for the “gastronomic emergency” to avoid a wave of bankruptcies and layoffs

Gastronomic shops demand urgent measures to counter the effects of the quarantine. The cameras of the sector (restaurants, bars, confectioneries, pizzerias, fast food chains and ice cream parlors) say that the pandemic caused an 80% drop in sales and that it will take them at least a year to recover the level of turnover prior to the crisis . “We ask that the gastronomic emergency law be declared to avoid a wave of bankruptcies and layoffs,” business executives told Clarín in a talk on Zoom.

Antonio Vázquez, President of AAPYCE (Pizzerias and Empanadas Houses), Ariel Amoroso, of AHRCC (Association of Hotels, Restaurants, Confectioneries and Cafes), Gabriel Fama, of AFADHYA (Artisanal Manufacturers of Ice Creams and Related Products), Marcelo Rojas Panelo, from the fast food chamber, they created a bleak picture for an intensive employment sector. They calculate that in the country, fast food chains have around 50,000 direct employees, whose costs today are partially covered by the government’s ATP. “That is key, because between the three largest chains -McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks- $ 450 million are spent monthly in wages,” says Rojas.

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The situation for gastronomy due to the coronavirus is more complex than other activities. They warn that the reopens could alleviate the situation, but gradually, because the preventive measures will continue for a longer time and that they will not be able to work in full class, at least until the first quarter of next year. “In our case, sales fell more than 85% and in the hotel part, 100%”, graphs Amoroso. Vázquez maintains that in AMBA 15% of the premises are closed and that many will not operate again. He also explains that many pizzerias, especially in sparsely populated towns, “the delivery and take away options do not work.”

Traders insist that without official help, many businesses could definitely close. And they fear that when the activity in Courts returns, there will be a flood of preventive contests and bankruptcies. In this sense, the Argentine Chamber of Commerce (CAC) yesterday demanded that the reform of the bankruptcy and bankruptcy law that came to Congress “have an agile treatment”. They claim that there are 60,000 companies at risk, which together employ 300,000 people. Data from the real estate sector indicate that in the Capital, 22% of the premises closed and ended their rental agreement.

With the gastronomic emergency law, businessmen ask for several basic points to be included. The continuity of the ATP 6 months beyond the end of the quarantine, the reduction of employer contributions, the suspension of the payment of ABL, gross income and other municipal taxes for 1 year, the VAT cut in half and a provisional brake on the check tax. A package of measures to gradually revive the business. The reopening of a partially or totally closed thing is also very expensive. “An average cost of $ 500,000 is estimated to supply merchandise and refurbish a medium-sized store,” says Amoroso. Rojas Panelo remarks that this figure is between 800,000 and $ 1.5 million for fast food.

“For an artisan ice cream parlor, ATPs cover between 25 and 30% of wages. And delivery and take away help, but they don’t work,” adds Fama. On the other hand, the manager maintained that the short and medium term is a panorama of uncertainty. In this regard, the near future explains that loans at government subsidized rates “are not so useful.” And they agree that returning to previous levels of the pandemic will take at least a year.

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