The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Natia Turnava, met with the representatives of the restaurant sector, including the initiative group of the hospitality industry. The representatives from various industry associations - the Restaurant Association, the Gastronomy Association, and the Gastronomic Tourism Business Association as well as up to 30 restaurants – attended the meeting.
The meeting touched upon the challenges and requirements posed by the sector. In addition, the benefits set for the restaurant sector under the 4th phase of the Government Anti-Crisis Economic Plan were once again highlighted. Particularly, under the 4th phase of the plan, the tourism sector, including the restaurant industry, will be exempt from property taxes in 2021, as well as the interest rates on bank loans and lease will be subsidized for the restaurant industry for six months and this program has already started.
It was noted that the imposition of point restrictions due to the difficult epidemiological situation occurred as a result of communication and consultation with the business representatives.
“We understand very well that the tourism industry is facing a difficult period and the restaurant sector is no exception. However, it must be said that one of the issues raised today has already been resolved by the government. At today’s meeting we were talking about the technical issues that could arise for the restaurant industry, even for joining the same loan interest subsidy program. This program has already been approved and specific technical issues need to be considered. It is noteworthy that the sector welcomes the topics related to the tax benefits and is important for the industry,” - Natia Turnava said.
According to the Minister, the main request is for the restaurants to keep the employees as much as possible and despite the difficult period, the restaurant business is trying its best to do so.
“Another issue they need help with is delivery and takeaway service to make it work better. As you know, by the decision of the government they can continue to work in this mode. At today's meeting with the sector officials, we agreed to continue active communication and hold sectoral meetings to address specific issues, and I am confident we will be able to resolve many problems,” - Natia Turnava said.
The Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Irakli Nadareishvili; the Acting Deputy Director of the Enterprise Georgia Agency, Irakli Gabriadze; the Acting Head of the National Tourism Administration, Medea Janiashvili and the Acting Business Ombudsman, Nino Kvetenadze, participated in the meeting.
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