10th April 2020, Skopje – By clarifying the measures, as well as by adjusting them, according to the needs and the requirements, the Government will meet the needs of the hospitality industry representatives, as it was concluded at today’s meeting of the Minister of Finance Nina Angelovska, the Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi and the representatives of the hospitality industry clusters within the Chambers of Commerce.

Minister of Finance Angelovska said that they were open for fast communication, explanation, even adjustment of the measures in order to meet the requirements of the real sector.

She pointed out that a change was made in the Decree governing the measure – Denar 14,500 wage per employee for small- and micro-sized enterprises, which allows the owner and manager, in case they are employed in the company, to be able to apply for the respective measure. In addition thereto, the condition related to the period of 2 months was changed into 4 months for keeping the same number of employees upon its usage.

-Additional dilemma we managed to clarify is about the type of workers who can use this measure.  The measure can be used by any company experiencing a decline of more than 30% of the income for all workers having a wage below Denar 39,900, using the existing exemptions from payment of social insurance contributions and personal income tax, i.e. for employers who are fully exempted from paying social insurance contributions under the “Macedonia Employs 1 and 2” Project.  It is not about the wage increase measure, being launched last year. If they used the wage subsidy measure, they can also use this measure – Angelovska said.

She announced that the Development Bank of North Macedonia will soon extend the second credit line of EUR 8 million and the loans will amount to EUR 90,000 according to the number of employees. It will be available to the three affected sectors, as well as to all other sectors affected by the crisis.

Minister Bekteshi informed that the meeting with the representatives of the tourism and the hospitality industry sectors, was very constructive, since questions were raised about their additional requirements in order to make the usage of Government measures more easily, which are aimed at supporting  the businesses affected by the crisis in the healthcare system and the economy caused by Coronavirus.

-Ministry of Economy has already provided funds for direct support to this sector through the Tourism Industry Compensation Fund, which has already been established, but which will start operating after the crisis ends, i.e. during the recovery period. It will be aimed at providing direct support to the tourism sector, whereby, at present, EUR 95 million has been provided, funds that are projected to be increased in the coming period in accordance with the damages these companies will suffer. On Monday, we expect additional proposals and directions from the tourism and hospitality industry sectors, pertaining to the easiest manner of using the measures thereby, which will be considered on Tuesday at the meeting of the Coordination Body, after which, if necessary, additional measures will be adopted – Bekteshi said.  

Hospitality industry representatives welcomed the dialogue they had with the Government.

-As regards the new Decrees adopted by the Government, they proved to be favourable for some of the matters we pointed out, being a good step forward and I hope that the cooperation will further continue to that end.  We needed such a constructive dialogue. We will do our best to convey our measures as best we can, and I would like to hereby underline that we are focused on keeping our employees and obtaining the most resources for them, Martin Angelovski. representative of the hospitality industry sector said.

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