Warsaw, 11th March 2020
Entrepreneurs are not giving in to panic, but they do observe with a high degree of anxiety how the situation related to the spread of the new coronavirus causing COVID-19 is developing. We fully understand the need to introduce certain exceptional solutions aimed at fighting the virus. Therefore, we would like to express our general support for the special act under works by the government.
We understand that the actions undertaken by the government, such as the closing of schools and universities or the ban on organising mass events, are aimed at fighting the virus. However, we must emphasise that they will cause complications and costs for many entrepreneurs who will have to bear the expenses associated with enabling employees to provide childcare or having to cancel scheduled events.
The negative impact of the coronavirus epidemic is already being felt on a global scale, primarily in the tourism industry, but it is likely that other sectors of the economy, such as the food catering industry, will also suffer. We will have to face the limited availability of staff resulting from the increasing number of people quarantined. Business processes are currently largely suspended due to the reduction in the number of trips and meetings, as well as due to preventive measures, such as ordering our employees to work remotely at home (home office mode).
Problems caused by the virus will encompass a wide range of industries – from food production and distribution, through pharmaceuticals, to the cosmetics industry and many others. Consequently, the epidemic becomes a problem not for individual sectors, but for the entire economy.
Considering the threats listed above, which will all have their specific impact on reducing the stability of supplies, as well as the entrepreneurs’ willingness, enforced by the circumstances, to submit to special rigors resulting from the growing extent of epidemic, we would like to appeal to the Prime Minister not to undertake in the nearest future and cease any and all legislative initiatives increasing the administrative obligations and public-legal burdens on companies. The ongoing legislative processes regarding legal acts introducing new bureaucratic or fiscal burdens (taxes, levies, fees, premiums etc.) should be suspended so as not to intensify the negative impact of the epidemic on the economy.
In order to avoid a deep recession (the record declines observed on stock exchanges around the world suggest the risk of it taking place), we should intervene by introducing an ambitious deregulation package. We postulate that a legislative review should be carried out whose aim should be to reduce existing burdens on businesses, including fiscal ones, so that the negative economic effects caused by the coronavirus can be offset.
Polish entrepreneurs have been expecting a certain slowdown for a long time, one that naturally results from the business cycle. However, the coronavirus epidemic may result not in a mild correction of the growth rate, but in its significant reduction whose impact will be felt by all participants of economy. It is already estimated that the GDP growth rate may fall by as much as 1.3 percent. Examples from other countries show that legislative interventions resulting from the state of emergency sparked by the epidemic can be very through, such as those introduced in Italy where mortgage repayment was suspended. We urge you to take advantage of this perilous situation for the Polish economy and introduce solutions that will not only alleviate the temporary problems of individual sectors and industries, but will remain useful in the long run.
The scanned version of the paper document is available here.