The NERA – Business Association of the Algarve Region considers that it is necessary to “act quickly” to save companies and keep their jobs, calling for the use of the measures presented by the government to respond to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“NERA calls for entrepreneurs in the Algarve to join in a joint battle to defeat the pandemic, save companies and jobs, and bet on the recovery and future of the economy. There is no time to lose. It is necessary to act, with realism and courage ”, points out, in a statement, the association led by Vítor Neto, adding that“ immediate action ”involves applying for measures already presented by the government.
According to the association, "many companies in our region are at serious risk of not being able to survive the crisis, causing the elimination of jobs and heavy economic and social consequences".
Since the structural reality of the Algarve is “more complex than it looks and that is often overlooked”, with tourism as the most important economic sector, “the business environment in which it develops and converges directly or indirectly in it , it is more articulate than in general ”, continue the entrepreneurs.
In 2019, the Algarve had 70,000 companies (50,000 individually and 20,000 companies) involving 170,000 workers and a turnover of more than 9 billion euros, according to the National Statistics Institute.
Of these companies, about 20% (13,500) are accommodation and restaurants, 15% (11,000) of trade (wholesale and retail), 10% of agriculture and fisheries, 8% of construction, 5% of real estate activities, 3% of sports and cultural activities, 3% of manufacturing and 1.5% of transport. “All of these sectors contribute directly or indirectly, and with a different weight, to the functioning of the tourist activity”, emphasizes NERA.
“In the face of the current crisis, we entrepreneurs cannot stand still, living on promises and illusions. We have to act urgently ”, emphasizes the association, pointing out two levels of concern for companies:“ An immediate one, which is their survival, the maintenance of jobs and the expectation of a recovery. Another, medium term, which is the prospect of continuity and reinforcement of activity. ”
For NERA, immediate priority is now being given. “Responding to the most urgent problems. To solve treasury difficulties, pay salaries, insure jobs and other urgent commitments ”, he maintains.
At the moment, it is said in a statement, “there is only one way”, to try to use the support measures already published by the government, “independently” of the opinion on them.
Thus, the business association continues, it is necessary to “look for information – which is not always easy – in official diplomas, in regional bodies (IAPMEI, IEFP, RTA, Regional Directions), banks; through accounting and management technicians; and through sectoral or regional business associations ”.
NERA claims to be "available to collaborate in this action, with all interested associations and entities", in addition to "continuing to fight for new measures appropriate to the evolution of the situation".