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Businesses ‘in full blown crisis’, Chamber and GFSB say

Gibraltar businesses are experiencing a “full-blown crisis”, the Chamber of Commerce and Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses said yesterday as they called for further assistance for local business owners.
The Chamber and GFSB thanked commercial landlords who had already acted following an announcement by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo appeal to reduce rents by at least 50% and be flexible with their commercial tenants.
But added the trading environment had “continued to deteriorate” with “no clarity on how long this will last”.
“Current projections are that the severity of the health crisis will worsen for the next
three months,” the Chamber and GFSB said in a joint statement.
“The subsequent economic one will last much longer.”
The statement added some landlords have even offered reductions in rent for those
who operate in sectors which are not covered by the measures announced by the government.
“Some landlords have gone much further and offered rent-free periods for the next
quarter to help their tenants weather the current crisis,” the Chamber and GFSB said.
“This has been very welcome and demonstrates the strong bonds of solidarity which
we have as a community.”
The Chamber and the GFSB thanked those landlords who have already taken these steps to help their tenants.
“We would also call on the Landlord’s Association and all remaining commercial
landlords to assist their tenants in the current crisis,” the statement said.
“Now is the time for action.”
“Now is the time to assist those businesses to try to keep trading so at least they can continue to exist and hold on to their staff in the long term.”
“The current crisis will pass in due course and we need to have the ability to rebuild our economy. Only by ensuring the continued viability of businesses can this be done.”
The Chamber and GFSB recognised that many people, in both the public and private sectors, have already made enormous sacrifices and more will be asked of them in the weeks and months ahead.
“It is incumbent on each of us to do what we can to help each other,” the statement said.
“When trading improves, we do not want to look back with regret and think if only we
had done more to help. Do it today. Do it now.”

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