The government will study business proposals for state support due to the introduction of QR codes. Such an order was given by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to the Ministry of Economic Development. Earlier, business ombudsman Boris Titov warned that if anti-coronavirus restrictions are introduced for a long time, up to 45% of catering, sports and entertainment enterprises, which employ 3 million people, are ready to fire their employees.
To mitigate the consequences of COVID measures, the Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs sent his proposals to Mr. Mishustin. More details about them – in the help “Kommersant FM”:
First of all, it is proposed to exempt businesses from restrictions on the occupancy of halls, which already require customers to present a QR code at the entrance, as well as companies where at least 90% of employees are vaccinated.
A separate block of initiatives concerns the concessional lending program, which the authorities resumed on November 1. In particular, to increase the maximum period for granting subsidies, as well as to equate the introduction of QR codes with quarantine, which gives the right to receive financial support. As conceived by Boris Titov, subsidies should also be received by the affected companies that are not included in the register of SMEs.
The Business Ombudsman proposes to provide companies with the same support measures as in the first year of the pandemic: deferral of taxes, rent and utility bills, as well as loans from budget funds, introduce a moratorium on shutting off heating, electricity, gas and water, if enterprises have a delay in payment during the COVID restrictions.
Also, Mr. Titov calls for allowing fitness clubs, transport companies and organizers of cultural and entertainment events not to return funds for season tickets and tickets to clients within six months. In addition, he suggests issuing QR codes to those who have G antibodies, as well as those vaccinated with one component of the vaccine, but to extend the validity of the document only if the second component is received.
The general director of the Urvista law firm, the owner of the Take and Wake coffee shop and the Chemodanov boutique hotel, Aleksey Petropolsky, believes that the QR code regime can deprive a business of up to 40% of its revenue. Therefore, the next support, he said, is necessary: “Business in 2021 was no easier than in 2020, since short lockdowns also brought huge losses, and now the time has come when you need to pay annual taxes. Of course, not all companies today can pay them. We need a postponement, or even better, an exemption from the tax burden. Let me remind you that many shopping malls, business centers are either empty, or give an extension, or exempt those who cannot pay from payments.
I hope that the authorities will eventually meet the initiative of the business ombudsman and introduce even broader measures to help entrepreneurs. According to Opora Rossii, more than 80% of enterprises reduced their revenue in 2021, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.
The introduction of the QR code mode can result in a loss of 30% to 40% of revenue for a business. Losses await enterprises that interact with clients offline – catering, services, even legal services. Therefore, there will be even more bankruptcies with the loss of jobs, because when we transfer everyone to a remote mode, it does not bring the same revenue, although it would seem that almost all services can be provided remotely. “
Public Ombudsman for the Protection of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Anastasia Tatulova notes that the situation is no better now than in the spring of 2020, when the authorities first provided companies with support measures: “Two years of the pandemic did not add any reserves or strength to businessmen. What can help? Only the opportunity to work, because no measures, the more such as now, do not cover even a hundredth of the costs and losses of the enterprise. And even where support measures are in place, the fall reaches 70-80%.
QR codes are not even a closure, but simply an activity at a loss – businesses cannot work that way. It is good that many regional leaders already understand this and begin to apply restrictions more carefully. For example, the Governor of Nizhny Novgorod Gleb Nikitin on November 25 made a decision to remove QR codes from street retailers and public catering, it remains to resolve the issue with shopping centers – we are waiting.
I think the authorities will approve Mr. Titov’s proposals. How can you not meet business halfway in such a situation? Then we will simply lose one sector of the economy after another. Now this is happening with the beauty industry, a very difficult situation in fitness, in restaurants. ”
First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Alexander Zhukov said that, according to preliminary information, the first reading of bills on the introduction of the QR code system in Russia may take place on December 16.