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AmCham member companies' responses to COVID-19

AmCham member companies have been swift to react to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis in Georgia.

Financial donations to the anti-virus effort have been quick in the coming from companies such as M2, PMI, APM Terminals Poti, Silknet, Lomisi, Batumi International Container Terminal, Efes Brewery in Georgia (JSC Lomisi), Hydrolea LLC, Orient Logic, PMI, Maqro Construction and Georgian Industrial Group, who have given sums of 100,000 - 1 million GEL each to the StopCov Fund, which had already received 17.5 million GEL as of March 30.

Despite enormous strains on the tourism sector caused by the spread of the virus, some of the country's largest hotels have given or offered their premises to be used as quarantine spaces, including Adjara Group's Holiday Inn in Tbilisi, the Grand Gloria Hotel Batumi, the Marriott Hotel Moxy in Tbilisi, the Radisson Park Hotel in Tsinandali, Ibis Hotel and the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace. The Ramada Encore Tbilisi has also offered its premises if needed. Coca Cola is supplying quarantine spaces with their products throughout the country.

These hotels, amongst others, have been doing their best to support their employees, keeping as many as possible on salary, providing reduced salary for furloughed staff in some instances, maintaining health insurance and more.

Member banks and financing institutions have been doing their part as well. TBC Bank intends to spend more than 5 million GEL to roll-out services that will facilitate distance education, assistance for the elderly and the dissemination of digital technologies. TBC Bank will also purchase 10,000 coronavirus rapid tests. Bank of Georgia has pledged to purchase essential medical supplies for the Ministry of Health, including 20,000 lab tests, 10 ventilators, 60,000 gloves and 50,000 masks. Liberty Bank has decided to prepay April pensions with 100 million GEL of its own resources to individuals older than 70 years of age, who will be able to access these funds via their social cards. Gazelle Finance has announced a three-month grace period for companies affected by the risks, and is offering technical assistance facilities to companies in need to cover their immediate cash flow deficits.

All of our member universities have now completed transition to online classes.The Georgian American University (GAU) is supporting three charities to support the socially vulnerable, and has delayed tuition payment until July 2020 for students facing financial hardship.

The Georgia Red Cross Society has a number of on-going efforts to mitigate the effects of the virus on the elderly and other vulnerable groups by providing them with food and hygiene products across the country. In addition to handling donations by companies, the GRCS has made it possible for individuals to do their part by purchasing and donating essential food items from a specific list of items in supermarkets.

The Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN) is assisting ethnic minorities in the quarantine zone of Kvemo Kartli to obtain information about the COVID-19 pandemic in the region in Armenian and Azerbaijani, in addition to providing face masks and sanitizers there. CENN is also implementing rapid grants programs for communities, groups and organizations to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in Keda and Tsalka municipalities.

Yet other companies have created their own initiatives to deal with the damaged wrought by COVID-19. Adjara Group, in cooperation with other companies, has established the Ertianoba platform [Georgian for unity] - this project helps people in need such as the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions, by providing them with essential medical items and food stuffs through volunteers that register to lend a helping hand. Gulf Georgia supports Ertianoba volunteers by providing fuel for their transportation needs.

Gulf Georgia established a platform called Ekimebistvis [‘For doctors'], through which it donates 5 tetri per liter of gas sold to support doctors and other medical workers. The fund had accumulated 88,000 GEL as of March 31.

SavvY has unveiled a new platform called supportbusiness.ge, where companies will be able to register their problems and challenges. The Georgian Retailers Association and British American Tobacco have provided face masks to doctors and journalists.

Meanwhile, the United States is providing $1.1 million in health funding to Georgia to help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-identification and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication and other activities.

This is by no means an exhaustive look at how AmCham member companies are doing their part in the fight against COVID-19. Over the coming weeks, AmCham will maintain a database of what our members are doing, and will also do our best to publicize the efforts of members on social media and our website.

Element Construction has built a poultry farm

(posted on Aug-4-2020)

Kakheti Hospitality Market by Cushman & Wakefield Georgia

(posted on Jul-30-2020)

Château Mukhrani offers AmCham members an opportunity to take part in culinary master class lead by Château Mukhrani chef-cooks on August 1

(posted on Jul-28-2020)

Philip Morris Georgia has announced the launch of heated tobacco product - IQOS on Georgian market as of July 27, 2020. Find the press release here

(posted on Jul-27-2020)

Grant Thornton Tax and Legal Alert - Overview of changes in Georgian legislation, June, 2020

(posted on Jul-20-2020)

DAI Global LLC (Implementer of the USAID Economic Security Program) Quarterly Newsletter, July 2020

(posted on Jul-10-2020)

EY compensation and benefits survey

(posted on Jun-26-2020)

Mobile market review by Grant Thornton

(posted on Jun-24-2020)

Deloitte Legal, 17 June 2020

(posted on Jun-17-2020)

Grant Thornton Tax and Legal Alert - Overview of changes in Georgian legislation, May, 2020

(posted on Jun-12-2020)

EY Tax&Law Brief for March-April-May, 2020

(posted on Jun-11-2020)

EY Law Updates on COVID-19, Seventh Edition

(posted on Jun-11-2020)

EY Global Labor and Employment Law Multi-country guide

(posted on Jun-11-2020)

PwC Georgia's PayWell 2020 and the special offer for AmCham members

(posted on Apr-2-2020)

Duty Free Georgia charity project

(posted on Jun-4-2020)

TBC Quarterly Newsletter - Spring of 2020

(posted on Jun-4-2020)

Colliers International Georgia holds conference on Hotel Sector (Thursday, May 28th, 16:00 GET)

(posted on May-27-2020)

BLB Partner note: the law which aims to attract the foreign direct investments provides for the nationalization and confiscation of the investments (in Georgian and English)

(posted on May-27-2020)

BGI Law Brief, (General Regulatory Update) - May 2020

(posted on May-21-2020)

Grant Thornton Tax and Legal Alert - Overview of changes in Georgian legislation, April 2020, in Georgian and English

(posted on May-18-2020)

In what circumstances will criminal law liability be imposed for violating the rules of the state of emergency? by Business Legal Bureau (BLB) in Georgian and English

(posted on May-18-2020)

Deloitte Academy training- Business Evaluation/ Covid 19 impact on companies' international operations.

(posted on May-8-2020)

EY Law Updates on Covid-19

(posted on May-7-2020)

Grant Thornton: Legal Response to Covid-19 Challenges

(posted on May-1-2020)

Could the President of Georgia establish the criminal law liability for violation of Emergency regime? by BLB Partner Ms. Maya Mtsariashvili

(posted on Apr-29-2020)

Deloitte: COVID-19 Anti-crisis Economic Plan Introduced by the Government of Georgia (in Georgian and English)

(posted on Apr-27-2020)

KPMG: Tax adjustments and challenges caused by the spread of New Coronavirus (COVID-19) (in Georgian)

(posted on Apr-25-2020)

BLB Newsletter, April 13, 2020 (in Georgian and English)

(posted on Apr-15-2020)

Dentons launches 2020 edition of its 'Investing in renewable energy projects in Europe' guide

(posted on Apr-7-2020)

Nexia TA release on Government decree about restrictions against Covid 19 - see document and annex (in Georgian)

(posted on Apr-6-2020)

SavvY has launched a platform for supporting companies through Covid 19 crisis - supportbusiness.ge

(posted on Apr-3-2020)