The decision by the government of the State of São Paulo to postpone the beginning of the easing of social distance until May 31 caused frustration among shopkeepers in shopping malls and high street retailers, who expected the resumption from Monday, the 11th The leaders of these two segments said that retailers will respect the measures, but expected more balance between health and the economy in the decision to resume activities. In addition, they charge compensation to face the losses caused by the prolongation of the quarantine.
“It was a huge injustice to our sector,” said the president of the Association of Shopkeepers of Malls (Alshop), Nabil Sahyoun. According to him, shopping malls are in a much better condition than supermarkets to comply with the security protocols required in quarantine. Shopping malls are part of large multinational companies that follow very strict protocols. Most supermarkets are small. “You can put 50 supermarkets inside a shopping mall,” calculated Sahyoun, arguing that the mall aisles are wide and the supermarkets are narrow, where it is possible to run into people.
To highlight the injustice committed against the sector he represents, the president of Alshop recalled that there are thousands of buildings in the city, where there are caretakers, security and cleaning workers transiting between work and their homes and may be eventually spreading the virus. “So these people can work and the trade sector, which today is extremely protected, right?”
Sahyoun said he was disappointed by the government’s decision. “All rigidity is stupid. You need flexibility, common sense and a balance between economy and health.” Since the beginning of the quarantine, shopping malls in the State of São Paulo have stopped selling R $ 8 billion. With this extension, the loss should increase. For this reason, he demanded measures to help tenants get through this period without sales. among them are the postponement of taxes, such as the Goods and Services Circulation Tax (ICMS), and more accessible credit lines, for example.
For Alfredo Cotait, president of the Federation of Trade Associations of the State of São Paulo, the government’s decision provoked discouragement in the sector. “For the metropolitan region of São Paulo, Baixada Santista, there were no conditions for flexibility, but for cities where the incidence of the disease is lower, yes.” It represents 420 commercial associations spread across the State of São Paulo. “But we will accept and respect the decree,” he said.
However, like Sahyoun, Cotait demanded compensation to mitigate the negative impacts of lack of revenue in the sector, which is a major employer. “How are we going to survive this period?” He asked. He believes that the government should create a counterpart. He suggested that a fund with company resources be created for essential trade to fund companies that are retailers in the non-essence segment that remain behind closed doors. “One has to help the other, the problem is much bigger.”
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