Statement EES President Dr Ingo Friedrich, February 19, 2021

The decisions of the third Corona Summit as in Germany understandably take into account the changed risk situation caused by the new virus mutants. But they do not cover the entire complex situation of small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in the retail, catering and hotel sectors. Although the summit participants agreed in principle that the federal and state levels should work on "steps towards a safe and equitable opening strategy", nothing has come of this work so far.

Similar things happen in other European countries. This must now be done immediately: Only through a quick and public exposition of a binding opening strategy, after the devastating lockdown has ended, can the many hard-hit small and medium-sized enterprises be expected to stick it out these last few weeks. This is not just a question of morality, but a very realistic stocktaking.

Only those who see a convincing and tangible hope for improvement can mobilise any remaining strength. The abandonment of many small businesses on the last metres must be avoided at all costs in the interest of all. That is why we need an opening strategy now. Those involved need to know under what conditions they can reopen their businesses.