HDE Calls For Effective Aid Programme, Clear Timetable For Reopening Retail
Following the decision to extend lockdown on non-food trade businesses, the German Trade Association (HDE) has called on the government to adjust state aid and provide a clear timetable for reopening shops.
It has also urged that current restrictions to freedom of movement should not apply to shopping or click-and-collect services offered by retailers.
HDE managing director, Stefan Genth, said that retailers need "clear statements as to the conditions under which they can resume operations" to allow businesses to prepare for reopening their shops.
Genth also criticised the assistance offered by the government, saying that state aid provides "no effective support".
The trade body also noted that the money promised to retailers comes late or not at all, leading many businesses towards bankruptcy.
Genth added that pressure is being put on the minister of finance, Olaf Scholz, to distribute efficient aid packages to prevent a "wave of bankruptcies".
The HDE is pushing for exceptions to the current mobility restriction of staying within 15 kilometres of one's residence in all Coronavirus hotspots in Germany for click-and-collect services and shopping in grocery stores.
The retail sector received €90 million in aid in 2020, but more support is needed as the sector faced one of the most damaging years due to the pandemic.
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