The Malta Independent 2 April 2020, Thursday

GRTU rebrands itself to 'Malta Chamber of SMEs'

Karl Azzopardi Monday, 20 January 2020, 15:06 Last update: about 3 months ago

The General Retailers and Traders Union (GRTU) has rebranded, and will now be known as the 'Malta Chamber of SMEs.'

The announcement was made during a conference this morning titled 'New Look - 2020'.

"This is a natural decision since we have changed a lot in the past 70 years. So, we are going to change our name to reflect these advancements and showcase our work more effectively," said President of Malta Chamber of SMEs Paul Abela.

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Chief Executive Officer Abigail Mamo pointed out that the association must continue to evolve with the advancements that the country's economy has experienced.

Despite the change in name and logo, the Malta Chamber of SMEs will keep working to represent numerous small businesses across the Maltese Islands which, according to studies, form the largest part of our economy.

Mamo explained that the association is funded by the European Union which holds social dialogue at its core. "By giving the association a new and fresh image we are increasing the relevance of social dialogue and, in turn, increase the participation of individuals who we represent in our system," she said.

Through the EU Social Fund, the Malta Chamber of SMEs conducted studies which showed that they are the most mentioned business association, but mostly by people above the age of forty. With this change they hope to attract a younger audience. Mamo added that this will also effect the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD) which requires more attention as its work is relevant in today's world, but the way that it is communicated needs to be improved.

Also present was the Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi who said that this change is beneficial for the association which has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the retail industry back in 1948, representing over 7,000 small businesses from all economic sectors today.

He said that the EU Social Fund not only helped finance this change but also helped in the creation of a number of services and initiatives that are aimed towards showing other enterprises how important it is for them to make part of such associations.

Azzopardi said that in total almost €106 million was allocated to Malta for the period between 2014-2020 and it was agreed that it should be used on the bettering of our education system and measures that increase participation of workers.

He explained that this is a delicate time for the European Union's budget for the coming seven years due to the United Kingdom's decision to leave from the European Union. "All EU countries, including Malta, want this package of funds being negotiated to be a reflection of the balance required for the achievement of every country's objective. Malta is continually appealing for a fair deal for every country so that the EU is able to help small businesses."

Minister of the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri said that the ministry must not only listen to businesses which reach out to them but also take initiative in approaching businesses itself.

"We have to hear what they have to say. This is a mission that I will carry out, we will speak with owners of small businesses so that we can understand the new challenges they face. Despite our advancing economy we cannot rest as the economic world is ever-changing," he said.

He added that one of his priorities is to make sure that small businesses do not only focus on the Maltese market so that they can increase their competitiveness internationally. 

 

Photos: Alenka Falzon


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