The Zaštitnik Association (representing business owners, and in particular, small business owners) has raised its voice against the newest restrictive measures devised by the government’s Crisis Unit.
They are asking the government to exempt them from paying payroll tax and contributions, which is due on March 10, as well as to reduce taxes and levies in proportion to the restrictions, abolish the newest anti-COVID measures, provide assistance to the most vulnerable companies and apply the rules equally for everyone.
“With regard to the restriction measures during the past weekend, we believe that they are again to the detriment of local business owners, who are asked to pay the full amount of taxes although many of them cannot guarantee that they will have enough money to pay them that with reduced working hours,” says the Association.
They point out that under the pretext of selling just food, large supermarket chains knowingly circumvent the ordinance and sell goods of all kinds, thus unjustifiably gaining advantages to the detriment of those who cannot.
“It is absurd that there are crowds of people in large supermarkets and that they continue to operate uninterruptedly, while small shops have to adhere to all epidemiological measures like limiting the number of people in their shops, wearing masks and have disinfectants available at all times,” the Association points out, noting that many restaurants have invested substantial funds to provide everything that the Crisis Unit had required of them.
“They have provided the spaces, disinfectants and adequate control. As a reward, they had to cut back on their working hours, have to deal with invasive inspectors, labelling and increased bills. Nothing has been done to help the most vulnerable companies and business owners who have not been able to work properly for the past year, such as travel agencies and guides, event organizers, photographers, musicians, decorators, children game rooms, laundromats and many others who have been completely forgotten,” the Association warns.
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