The Malta Independent 18 July 2024, Thursday
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Gozo Business Sentiment survey indicates employee shortage as main concern

Tuesday, 18 June 2024, 07:13 Last update: about 29 days ago

The Gozo Business Chamber (GBC), and the Gozo Regional Development Authority (GRDA) have published the Gozo Business Sentiment (GBS) survey.

This report provides valuable insights into the current business environment and future expectations of enterprises operating in Gozo. In September 2023, 80 businesses in Gozo were surveyed. Following this, another 80 businesses in Gozo were surveyed in March 2024.

This initiative aims to provide a reliable barometer of business sentiment and foster a supportive environment for sustainable economic growth in Gozo. The following are some of the key findings emanating from the report:

1. Business Conditions and Expectations - Stable Conditions: Overall, business conditions of businesses operating in Gozo remained relatively stable throughout the 12-month period from April 2023 to March 2024. Indeed 60% of businesses interviewed in September 2023 and March 2024 expressed the view that their business conditions in the preceding six months remained the same. –  Main Concerns: The primary challenges identified were employee shortages and cost pressures.

2. Prices - The cost pressures identified as a main business concern reflect also themselves in the price expectations of products or services purchased; and the price expectations of products or services sold. Though it is important to note that in March 2024, 60% of businesses have highlighted that they do not intend to increase the prices of products and services sold over the next six months.

 3. Employment Trends - Over the past year, nearly 40% of businesses increased their workforce. Looking ahead, more than half of the businesses plan to expand their workforce within the next six months, particularly in the tourism, manufacturing, and professional services sectors.

4. Investment Activities - Nearly 60% of businesses made investments in the past year. More than half plan to continue investing over the next six months, especially in wholesale and retail trade, construction, arts and entertainment, and accommodation and food services.

5. Climate Change: - Only 45% of businesses acknowledged the potential impact of climate change on their operations, with half taking measures to enhance resilience. This contrasts with higher awareness levels observed in other EU firms. 5. 2024 Budget Impact (March 2024 survey): - Key budget measures impacting businesses include the increase in minimum wage and COLA adjustment, decrease in part-time tax, increase in stamp duty for Gozo properties, UCA Scheme incentives, and the Micro Invest Scheme.

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