Members of the Association of Catering Establishments (ACE) have reported a significant drop in sales. Apart from the immediate decline in sales, members of ACE have also experienced a number of booking cancellations for events such as parties. The cancellations gained a higher momentum after the new precautionary measures were announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The decrease in sales and bookings is leading to cash flow issues for restaurants and bars among others. ACE feels that the Government should intervene by ensuring that it continues to encourage measures that do not lead to panic but to also intervene by assisting Catering Establishments by:
- Encouraging banks to give a moratorium on loans;
- Give a moratorium on agreements of tax and SSC payments;
- Accept delay in VAT, Tax and SSC payments without penalties
ACE believes that the above will assist in the cash flow until the situation goes back to normal and it will avoid catering establishment having to take other drastic measures such as reducing hours for employees or worse still having to ask them to delay salary payments.
Furthermore it seems some employees did not report to work. ACE believes that no reporting to work without a sick certificate should be subject to disciplinary measures. ACE is also disappointed about the fact that so far no Compensation Fund was set up by Government to compensate employees who are subject to quarantine. This is effecting also the operations of establishment particularly the smaller ones with a small number of employees
The above will not solve the current issue but will mitigate challenges for businesses and give the entrepreneurs the necessary piece of mind to engage in business development rather than mitigating measures.
Members of the Association are being advised regularly to abide by the recommendations of the Health Authorities. Members are being kept regularly updated on developments as reported by Authorities. Members have also access to advice on measures that can be taken to ensure even healthier establishment environment.