"Honesty is what we await from the authorities..." Small business complains about the lack of the state aid
The coronavirus pandemic has become a test for the domestic business, and the state has practically eliminated helping the entrepreneurs.
Tinkoff Journalists interviewed seven Russian entrepreneurs about how the crisis affected their business. All of them are unanimous that this situation has become the most serious in recent decades: for some, profits have decreased several times, and many have completely closed. They do not like the fact that the state refused to take upon itself its share of responsibility for what is happening.
The director of one of the St. Petersburg travel agencies, Olga Nikolaenko, said that as soon as the panic in the media and statements that the tourism industry went bankrupt first began, many clients began to cancel summer tours. And at the beginning of April they had to take their tourists from abroad. Work completely stopped, even domestic resorts closed until the summer. Now the company deals only with applications for return and cancellation of tours and customer consultation by phone. True, money has not yet been returned, there is nothing on the accounts, and in order for foreign hotels to return what has already been paid for them, you will have to wait until the end of quarantine. The same thing with airlines, which are likely to offer tourists vouchers instead of money. Olga hopes for the help of the government, which promised to allocate 3.5 billion rubles to tour operators, but when it’s hard to say. Perhaps this money is enough to return the money to customers. Well, the work of the industry will have to be reviewed after quarantine.
Olga works on an agency fee, pays rent, taxes, salary, but soon her money will run out, and there will be nothing to live on. Moreover, it is necessary to pay rent, and landlords do not go forward, and will not compensate for losses. One office will have to be closed completely, and trying to rent another from the city on favorable terms, since there are tours already sold in the fall.
Help from the state looks very strange, tax deferral does not make sense, because its company will mainly return money to customers, and there will simply be no place to take profit tax. Olga fears that in the summer she will need to focus only on the domestic market, which is very poorly demanded, since it is inadequately expensive. Now, everyone else will have to do the same, and so the prices on the domestic market will remain unreasonably high, competition will increase at times, which means bankruptcies will begin. This is the worst of the crises that Olga experienced over 20 years of work. In addition, it is impossible to predict what will happen next.
The owner of the cafe-bar chain in Krasnoyarsk, Alexander Mitrakov, said that they worked until the last, because they couldn’t close themselves - they would have to pay the lessors, but how can this be done if there is no revenue? They just gradually died a couple of weeks, as there were less and less coients. They began to negotiate with banks and landlords. Some banks provided deferred loans, and landlords also reduced costs or gave vacations at closing times. Then, as a result of a brainstorming session, they decided to launch the delivery of handmade frozen dumplings, packaged in a box like sweets. They began to produce shock freeze pizza. Deliver and restaurant dishes, and contactlessly. Waiters have now become operators, pickers and couriers. Part of the staff went on unpaid leave. But revenue still fell by 80%.
Alexander is not afraid of the virus, but that after the epidemic, people will not have money for food. He considers the largest damage to the economy since the 1990s. Nevertheless, he will not rush to the opening of restaurants until the situation is completely clarified.
Deputy The director of a dental clinic in St. Petersburg, on condition of anonymity, admitted that the number of patients decreased by 90%. Only people with acute pain are coming, but neither prosthetics, nor braces, nor the treatment of superficial caries, nor toothbrushing can be dealt with. Those who have begun treatment can only continue under the personal responsibility of the doctor. Doctors began to receive less and partly went on paid and unpaid leave, and office employees were transferred to remote work. Since the premises are owned, so at least you do not need to pay rent. In this mode, the clinic will be able to work another two months, but not longer.
The president of the network of fitness clubs Alexei Kovalev complains that they had to close them in 27 cities of Russia. At the same time, customer subscriptions are frozen for free, and for them free online classes on Instagram and a fitness marathon with the support of trainers, nutrition consultations and prizes for leaders, costing 100 rubles, are held.
It is planned to launch paid group and personal training on the Zoom platform. True, this almost does not bring income - a maximum of 1% of the previous profit, since there are a lot of free video trainings on the network. Many of the 5,500 full-time employees were left without work and salaries. Some of them have nothing to pay for renting an apartment or a mortgage. In March, the salary was paid, and then it was unlikely, and therefore it would not be possible without state aid. If it does not exist, then we will either completely stop paying salaries to those who are still working, which is illegal, or we will bankrupt the organization. In this case, 90% of fitness clubs in Russia will close and the industry will go into the shadows. In total, the fitness industry will lose about 100 billion rubles.
The situation is complicated by the fact that the network owned by Kovalev is not small and medium, but namely large business, which the state does not help yet. And to lose the employees whom they raised for many years by investing in them will be very disappointing. Important for the industry and debt restructuring, and deferral of loans, and not taxes, which will be small, since there are no incomes.
The owner of a network of recreation centers in Altai, Maral Begimbekov, complains that many tourists come to them at the end of April, and all places have already been booked for 3 million rubles, now all three of its bases are closed until June 1. Some of the employees went on another paid leave, someone took a leave without maintenance. Some people guard the bases and are engaged in heating - all this will take 4 and a half million rubles
for 1.5 months. The losses are huge, because you have to return money to tourists and tour operators, but there is nothing to earn. Maral hopes that by mid-summer the situation will improve. He also believes that if quarantine were introduced in Russia and an emergency regime were declared, it would be much easier: the state would compensate at least part of the costs.
Anton Mizulin, co-owner of the hostel, rock school and quests in Saratov, complains that all quest rooms had to be closed since March 30, and 12 of his employees are unemployed. We have to negotiate with them to pay the minimum. But the landlords went forward and halved the cost. The music school is also closed, lessons go on Skype for those who have a subscription. More complicated with a hostel. Anton could not terminate the client's accommodation contract, as the lawyer said that there was no reason for this. How could they ensure the safety of guests: sanitizers, masks, gloves, cleaning. Now Rospotrebnadzor has forbidden to receive new guests, but only to serve those who have already settled. When they moved out, the hostel was temporarily closed. Now it remains only to wait for what will happen next.
The owner of the shop-workshop for the production of tableware and decor in Petrozavodsk Anna Obovskaya complains that the registration for master classes in March fell by 80%, and sales fell by 70%. Therefore, I had to switch to remote work - video tutorials on home modeling. For this, they also created boxes with the necessary materials and tools, so that everyone can use them for free. We made a 20% discount on all goods and organized free contactless delivery in Russia.
Employees were on vacation until April 5 with the preservation of wages, but now they have to be retrained in order to support and pay money. Anna is waiting for help from the state or at least honest wording: the introduction of an emergency or quarantine so that the risks fall not only on entrepreneurs. Now the negation has already begun, and if it continues, you will have to dismiss the workers, rent a warehouse and work on the Internet, minimizing losses. Then open again...