Monday, March 1

The hospitality industry has a debt of 150 million with its suppliers

Above, the main banner of the protest with a saucepan, and below, hoteliers with bills.  |  RAFA ARJONES

Above, the main banner of the protest with a saucepan, and below, hoteliers with bills. | RAFA ARJONES

The hospitality and leisure businesses in the province of Alicante carry a debt with their suppliers of more than 150 million euros due to government closures and the restrictions to which the sector has been subjected since August due to the pandemic. Thousands of bills they have to face despite not paying a single euro, which yesterday threw at the doors of the Consell headquarters in Alicante at the height of a noisy saucepan protest that lasted for an hour. In its course, they demanded the reopening of the establishments on March 1 with 100% of the terraces and a capacity of 50% inside the premises, until curfew, with distance between tables. The Consell works in a de-escalation only with the watchmen in the open air.

Another of the main demands of the hoteliers was the unblocking of official aid. They recalled that the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, announced the first rescue plan on November 26 and that three months will be completed without having received a single euro. The spokesperson for the convening entity, the Business Coordinator of Leisure and Hospitality of the Valencian Community, Lalo Díez, described the aid of the Resistir plan of the Consell de alms. “There are businessmen who pay up to 15,000 euros a month in expenses but are going to receive 2,000 euros. The numbers don’t come out. You cannot allow a government to close a business in 24 hours and give you aid of 2,000 euros after four months.

The hoteliers stressed that, in the meantime, they have to face the payment of their bills, taxes and social contributions, which causes the daily destruction of companies without room for maneuver and ability to survive after a year of pandemic. The protest was seconded by about 150 people, representing 16 associations and 1,200 companies in the Community.

The hotel industry drags a debt of 150 million with its suppliers | RAFA ARJONES

Two hoteliers lay down on the ground at the gates of the headquarters of the Generalitat, alluding to the end of the businesses that feed thousands of families, and their colleagues covered them with the bills. The representatives of the Coordinator and the associations of Restaurants in Alicante and Leisure Venues entered the official headquarters to meet with the delegate of the Consell in Alicante, Antonia Moreno, at which time the protesters took the opportunity to shout “get out” and “let show your face “, with banners with messages such as:” If the covid does not kill us, hunger kills us “,” We are not to blame, help now “,” My business is dying, they force me to close “or” If I don’t work , nooo taxes.

The average debt with suppliers of the hospitality establishments, about 7,500 in the province, is 20,000 euros, and 4,000 euros in the case of leisure venues. There are about 250 left in the province, since a third of them have disappeared during the pandemic. A panorama that restaurateurs are also facing: the sector ventures the destruction of one in three businesses due to lack of activity. The hotel industry appreciates the help of suppliers, both food and wineries and distributors, despite dragging them with their losses.

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