Chamber and GFSB welcome measures introduced to assist business
The economic measures set to be introduced to help local businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic had been described as a “good start’ by the Chamber of Commerce and the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses.
Responding to and welcoming the series of initiatives outlined by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo yesterday to help ease the economic burden facing business at this time, the business organisations said they looked forward to the implementation of additional measures.
“In this respect we will continue working with Government as we have done so far to ensure that we discuss and agree future economic measures as and when they are needed,” they said in a joint statement.
“Whilst the top priority for Gibraltar is to keep safe and adopt any measures that will delay and contain the spread of Covid 19, our priority must also be to safeguard our economy, safeguard our businesses and safeguard our employees.”
“In these unprecedented times where Government is working tirelessly to ensure Gibraltar stays safe it is imperative that we work together and share the burden that has been forced upon us.”
According to the Chamber, the Government has confirmed two it that "Distributive trades" as referred to in Mr Picardo’s announcement most definitely includes “shops and general retail” except supermarkets and grocery vendors.
The Chamber and the GFSB said they particularly welcome the announcement by Mr Picardo that where the Government is the direct landlord of commercial premises, the Government will waive all rents for the second quarter of the calendar year 2020.
additionally, the Chamber and the GFSB said they fully endorse the call by Mr Picardo on private landlords to waive at least 50% of the rent due in the second quarter of the calendar year for businesses in these sectors.
“We encourage landlords to go beyond the 50% set as a minimum by the Chief Minister,” they said.
“Now is the time for landlords to share the burden and keep Gibraltar's best interests at heart.”
The Chamber and the GFSB have asked commercial landlords to be as flexible as possible with their commercial tenants at this time, at least until the worst of the crisis has passed.
“Given the sudden and severe deterioration in trading conditions every one of us will be forced to make sacrifices to help others who are not in a position to do so. All assistance which landlords can give will help local businesses to continue.”
The boards of the Chamber and the GFSB said they will continue to work with the Government and look at additional measures which may be needed.