The curve flattens out. But with it also the optimism that the crisis will be overcome without loss of sales if possible. Despite declining motivation, it is important to show perseverance and continue to follow important regulations. Here are some tips to help you get through the corona crisis.
Construction sites may remain open and employees may enter them. Specialist tradesmen can carry out assembly work at the customer, but the distance control must be observed. The employees must also maintain the specified distance of at least 1.5 meters on the way to the construction site. This is difficult to implement in most vehicles. It doesn’t necessarily get any easier on the construction site itself, because here too the minimum distance must always be maintained – to the customer and to the colleagues. Since this is often difficult to implement in reality, it is advisable to shut down construction sites that do not have to be entered urgently.
The distance control mentioned above should also be maintained within your own company. You should also pay attention to the cough and sneeze etiquette: Do not cough and sneeze in the palms of your hands, but in the elbow. Increased hygiene measures such as regular hand washing and increased disinfection are also recommended.
Short-time working instead of dismissal should be the motto of the employer. Qualified tradesmen should not be lost now, because after the crisis the order situation can quickly increase – then every employee is needed. The government introduced a short-time working model at the beginning of the corona crisis, which employers should now use in order to maintain staff levels as far as possible. The funds earmarked for this purpose of almost one billion euros have almost been used up, which is why the federal government has now tripled the budget. This allows employers to continue to apply for short-time work.
Government support is not only available for staff, a package of measures has also been created for financing difficulties. For example, the two billion hardship fund provides emergency aid for the self-employed. The hardship fund can be accessed by one-person companies and SMEs for whom COVID-19 poses an economically significant threat. If the entrepreneur is no longer able to cover the running costs or if he is still affected by the entry ban currently in force, the fund takes effect. An application can also be made if there is a drop in sales of at least 50 percent compared to the same month in the previous year.
Employees should not be left in ignorance. Information about future steps in the company should be communicated as openly and quickly as possible so as not to cause unnecessary worries among the employees. The home office staff should not be forgotten, there should also be regular updates there – for employers and employees. In addition, changes in the company should be communicated as clearly and simply as possible. New hygiene regulations are best posted at several locations within the company.
In addition to short-time work and hardship funds, the government also offers support in the form of tax deferrals and bridging guarantees. Guarantees for bridging financing amounting to ten million euros are offered by the Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS) for one-person companies and SMEs. In addition, companies are to be relieved by reducing tax advance payments.
After the Easter holidays there are the first easing, as the Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer and Minister of Health Rudolf Anschober have now published. The most important rule for the industry: Shops with an area of up to 400 square meters may be reopened from April 14th. This pleases many SMEs, but at the same time caution is advised: the distance regulation continues to apply, and since April 6, there has been a mask requirement that applies to all retailers. The easing should not lead to recklessness, as otherwise tightened measures could threaten.