The Malta Independent 3 June 2020, Wednesday

Chamber of SMEs welcomes government's 'positive response to critical issues'

Wednesday, 25 March 2020, 06:36 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Chamber of SMEs welcomed the government's new set of economic measures to tackle the negative impact of Coronavirus spread, saying it is a very good first positive step that fulfilled part of the request that we have presented to the Prime Minister. This should give the necessary lifeline for the coming months for businesses that are desperately in need and will be celebrating the opportunity to be able to retain their workforce.

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The details of the implementation of such a scheme will be essential to ensure that this opportunity will be as accessible as possible, the chamber said in a statement following the Prime Minister's press conference.

During the last week the Malta Chamber of SMEs said it has been in continuous discussions with the Prime Minister insisting that the unemployment benefit should be a basis of an employment benefit across the absolute majority of sectors.

The reality is that it is the majority of sectors that have suffered a close to complete drop in business overnight. Whilst a number of these sectors have been asked to close their doors, others are still allowed to open with business levels standing at close to none.

This is being said in full cognizance of the fact that we already know that there are other sectors and individuals that need help and as an organization we will continue voicing their concerns and making sure that help reaches them. This because we are aware of the real needs of industry and the importance of keeping businesses functioning to be able to reinvent themselves and be ready to hit the ground running when the economy starts going back to normal.

The Prime Minister has given the Malta Chamber of SMEs his assurance that the government will be keeping an open channel of dialogue and be responsive to the needs of the private sector.

At the same time as an organisation we are working on other important measures that require strengthening, that are all important to sustain business in this delicate time. We need greater support from all the banks through general moratoria for both businesses and individuals and revision of interest rates. Other measures include tackling problems associated with rents and other costs part of most businesses’ running costs.

 

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