This column gives me space to share my experiences and emotions during these bizarre times. Not for a moment about the new government measures. Although I did find extraordinary timing on Rutte’s part to call out at exactly 7:11 p.m. that team building and company outings are out of the question for the time being. For a moment I thought Rutte in the role of court jester wanted to make a nod to the carnival. Considering the timing, a purrfect piece of performing art!
I can remember it like yesterday. From the home to the counter. January 23, 2004. The day I officially became an entrepreneur. Nowadays, a business application goes online, but in those days you went to the counter. And through the bakery back home. How that went? Handing in a lot of paperwork, proudly pronouncing the company name and explaining to the lady at the counter what I was going to do. Do travel, but differently, team building but with a trip, explaining to a civil servant what the concept of incentive meant. It was up to the lady at the front desk to attach a BIK code to my long argument. (nowadays an SBI code).
In the MICE industry, there are many respectable entrepreneurs. Some entrepreneurs started team-building type activities years ago in the country, on a beach or on the moors. But entrepreneurs undertake and look around, feel what’s happening and get energized about where to get even more incentives. Keeping up with a growing travel market. Thus, it happened in the past decades that many event agencies or organizers of local events literally pushed their boundaries. And so our industry was supplemented from the width with many locally operating event agencies, each with their own, originally, SBI code. These entrepreneurs became industry colleagues, friends, sparring partners in addition to competitors. Together we moved up and gave the market shine. And once you enter this niche, you don’t get out easily, the profession is too good!
Years and years pass. And then came Corona and our industry was hit rock hard from day 1. An acute flatline from early March. Every entrepreneur in this industry is feeling the hard knocks. Fortunately, there are support measures. The more time passes, the more desperately needed they are. Industry research indicates that entrepreneurs with the same activities have different SBI codes. Traditional Tour Operators have to make do with 4% relief while fellow entrepreneurs, “recreational other” and “services for performing arts” (…yes really) receive 34 and 37% support respectively. Thus, as the situations become more acute with the passage of time, the difference in SBI code in the same market can be essential in terms of survival. A bizarre situation!
Time for a big lobby in The Hague. First, uniformity in the industry and while we’re at it, question the 4%. With 100% maximum revenue loss and many months to go, it can’t be true that we are noting the minimum concession, can it? The entire culture, recreation and sports sector is eligible for 20-37%. I realize that this sector has also taken hefty hits, but is also back in business for months in some form. Hairdressers getting 20% even though they have been closed for “only” 6 weeks.
I also want an SBI code Services in performing arts. surviving at all in these times is already an performing art in itself and in these times intertwined to my main activity. Now just hope the official understands my objection….
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