Too general support, without regard to the specificity of the Algarve's economy, and lack of prospects for reopening borders and air transport were some of the complaints made today by businesspeople in the region affected by the covid-19 pandemic.
The lack of tourist activity is leaving companies decapitalized and in difficulties and representatives of travel agencies, car rental or local accommodation, among others, were critical of the support mechanisms created by the Government, in a 'webinar 'which brought together micro, small and medium entrepreneurs in the district of Faro.
Among the entrepreneurs participating in the initiative, organized by the Portuguese Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (CPPME), was Luís Agulhas, manager of a local accommodation microenterprise, in Olhão, who criticized the “Tremendous complexity” that entrepreneurs face in order to access support.
The same source considered that the multiplicity of existing supports created a game of “Push, push”, what "sometimes it benefits some sectors and leaves others out, which forces entrepreneurs or accountants to not know what they are exactly doing ”, because they run the “Risk of making it impossible to apply for other support”.
“A mosaic was created that is not at all informative and requires specific knowledge of what is being done”, said Luís Agulhas, stressing that the “Microentrepreneurs are now experts in high-level financial management and, if they are not, they are bound to be more difficult” the effects of the pandemic on tourist activity.
“If there are no flights, there are no tourists, mass unemployment is in sight”
Burno Fraga, of the Association of Entrepreneurs for Quarteira, said that the Algarve is a tourist area and “If there are no flights, there are no tourists, mass unemployment is in sight”, and asked for “Simplify and take into account the specificity of the Algarve's economy, which is highly dependent on tourism”.
“Eighty percent of businesses are closed, those that are working are only working out of stubbornness, pride and people's will, but losing, paying rents, taxes, many of them, like me, are unable to access support, because there are no people to help us simplify this process ”, stated.
Gonçalo Valente, manager of travel agencies and tour operator, said that "Support is not arriving just like everyone else, and there is a lack of information and uncertainty about what will happen to tourism".
“This closure and the unpredictability that we have in the reopening of borders, for us, who depend on tourism, leave us with a very big void and a fear of continuing to invest, because it is difficult to believe in what will happen”, he argued.
Armando Santana, a car rental entrepreneur, also criticized the lack of “Clear measures” and “Specific” for each sector and recalled that the companies of “Rent-a-car” have more than 90% of the work “With tourism” and has "The fleet almost stops".
"Things have to be outlined with head, torso and limbs, if you can't give 100, give 50, but be channeled to effectively plug holes" in companies, he considered.