The Luxembourg Trade Confederation (Confédération luxembourgeoise du commerce - CLC) has joined the Federation of Craftsmen (Fédération des Artisans), Jonk Handwierk and professional chambers in criticising the "insufficiency" and "unnecessary complexity" of new government aid for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), very small businesses (VSB) and the self-employed.
The clc noted that it has seen an increase in reports of companies' inability to obtain much-needed financial aid; some companies have not even tried asking for help, because they are convinced that they will not get it.
According to the clc, the first paradoxical case is that of companies which invested and launched a new activity at the start of 2020. In this case, it may well be that the company's overall turnover has not sufficiently reduced compared to 2019 to fall within the criteria needed to receive certain aid. And yet, the costs of the company have increased in order to launch and maintain this new activity.
The duration of the crisis has not helped this situation. With the exception of the flat-rate aid granted to the self-employed, the clc argued that, all available financial aid leaves companies responsible for a more or less significant part of their costs. Whilst the participation of companies in their own recovery may have been "morally defensible" during the first months of the crisis, the federation warned that, after ten months of economic and commercial scarcity, this marginal participation has eroded all the reserves of companies which had them and forced others into debt.
In addition to the conditions for loss of turnover, the various ceilings are most often quickly reached or the duration of restrictions of all kinds leads companies to exhaust their rights in this area, according to the clc. As such, the economic situation is coming to a "dead end" and more and more companies from all sectors are "at risk of no return".
As such, the clc has urged the Luxembourg government to quickly review these points as well as those raised by the professional chambers and other employers' federations. Like the other federations, the clc assured that it remains available to organise working meetings between the government and the various sectors affected.