When the covid crisis began, the government rushed to help. Subsequent “shields” were widely available and helped tens of thousands of Polish companies survive. Now we are dealing with a much more serious crisis, but entrepreneurs do not hear about government aid. Effect? The catering industry is already collapsing. – The government will not help this time, there is no way – says the expert. Although he adds after a while that there may be some way to help, it requires an end to political scuffles.
“We regret to inform you that from September 21, the Attraction will be permanently closed” – this is an entry from a well-known restaurant in Wrocław. District Saigon, also from Wrocław, is also closing. Azzurro from Gdańsk also did not stand up to the current situation, just like Wegarnik from Legnica. Examples can be multiplied and multiplied.
Restaurants and other Polish companies in trouble
Restaurants usually go to the fore in times of crisis. This time, the situation is even more difficult – because even if a place can still count on customers, the energy bills growing at an amazing pace are a huge challenge.
However, two years ago, at the beginning of the lockdowns, gastronomy was actually frozen overnight, but the government’s reaction was almost immediate. Government shields appeared immediately and the aid to entrepreneurs was quite generous. Polish business survived this crisis, though not without losses. It could be otherwise without shields.
So why is the government now proposing no shields? There is talk at most about the support of energy-intensive companies, but small and medium-sized entrepreneurs feel left to their fate. Anyway, even this support for energy-intensive companies amounts to approx. PLN 5 billion. Not much compared to over PLN 230 billion that was spent on covid shields.
– The government is against the wall today – there are no ideas how to effectively help entrepreneurs – Dr. Sławomir Dudek, chief economist at FOR, tells Business Insider. However, he adds, the most prosaic reason is also crucial: there is simply no money.
– We have inflation, war in Ukraine, energy crisis, zloty fluctuations – in short, a tangle of very bad trends, “perfect storm”, as Americans say. I am afraid that this may be a crisis comparable to that of the 1970s – adds the expert.
While in 2020 the government could still find funds to help entrepreneurs, unexpected expenses have fallen on it. After Putin’s aggression against Ukraine, Poland began to arm itself very quickly. And this consumes enormous amounts of money.
– I’m afraid that many companies will go bankrupt now, including those that got money from covid shields. So you can say that we will lose double from this. Unfortunately, difficult times always have their victims, just as the crisis of the 1970s buried fuel-consuming cars with huge engines – adds the economist.
One of the entrepreneurs we spoke to cannot grasp this policy either. – The covid support was generous, at one point they even gave 5,000 PLN for entrepreneurs. So what were these shields for when they now let companies fail? It doesn’t make any sense, he says.