The representatives of companies from event industry have gathered on Monday in front of government’s building to mark one-year since standstill due to introduction of ban on holding public events to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Expressing their revolt, they ask the government to provide financial support to help the sector survive.
The number of COVID-19 cases, as they pointed out, is increasing, which means additional uncertainty whether they will start working again soon.
Maja Babikj, president of the Macedonian Event Industry Association (IVAP) that organizes the protest, told MIA that companies in events planning industry are asking for non-refundable assistance, a grant, as nightclub owners had received.
The revenues in the event industry have fallen by more than 60%, which according to Babikj, in the foreseeable future will mean closure of the businesses.
“We request to receive EUR 10,000 grant as nightclubs received. We have no assistance provided by the government for whole year. And we suggested to the government to have mechanisms that can determine the type of assistance, which means that companies need to really prove that they work in the event industry and they have a more than 60 percent decline in revenue,” she said.
IVAP representatives met in January with Deputy PM for Economic Affairs Fatmir Bytyqi. They offered a solution for their industry, but, although they received a promise that it would be taken into account and considered, the government did not take into account their proposals and, Babikj added, adopted incomprehensible measures.
With this gathering, she added, the association wants to draw the attention of the government, but also the public, to the position of the event industry.
“As responsible citizens and companies, we consider it inappropriate to request holding of public events in such a situation. We do not violate the laws and regulations because we do not organize public events. Therefore, we believe that we have no choice but for the government to find a way and help this sector,” Babikj said.