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Alliance vows to champion small businesses

The GSLP/Liberal Alliance will once again appoint a Minister for Small Business, should it be re-elected to government next week.

This is one of a number of initiatives set out by Alliance candidate Vijay Daryanani and party Leader Fabian Picardo at a press briefing yesterday afternoon.

The move will help the government better understand and work with Gibraltar’s small businesses, according to the GSLP/Libs.

In this regard, Mr Daryanani explained that a thriving economy forms the basis for a thriving small business sector.

But, he said, there is a direct correlation between the performance of Gibraltar’s tourism sector and the performance of Main Street.

And, he said: “The key for Main Street in the tourism sense is cruise ship calls.”

“We have been attracting a great volume of cruise ships to Gibraltar and whilst, for operational reasons beyond our control that number is slightly down this year compared to last year, we expect that to recover as soon as next year.”

“We are committed to exploring anew the possibilities for partial or even full turnaround for cruise companies here, something that we believe will become a far more realistic prospect for us when we have completed the tunnel under the runway.”

“We do not plan to rest on our laurels,” he said adding that the party was in support of the Business Improvement District initiative by the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses.

“We will be matching this on a pound for pound basis, underlining our determination that small businesses in Gibraltar can still strive for more.”

He added that the GSLP/Libs will continue to work on developing links to Gibraltar by sea, by air or across the border and will also consider options for the creation of a tourist/commercial passenger landing berth on the east side.

Mr Daryanani added: “small business in Gibraltar has been a core part of my life for over 40 years now. I enjoy strong relationships with traders up and down Main Street and I understand the issues.”

“I am certain that with a GSLP Liberal government we can continue to attract ever greater footfall, with a focus on the tourism aspect of our business. With innovation, some outside the box thinking and the right kind of investment in infrastructure and marketing of the jurisdiction, I believe our best days are still ahead of us.”