Small business in La Linea fear economic impact of virus restrictions
by Maria Jesus Corrales
The Association for Small Businesses in La Linea, Apymell, said local entrepreneurs have expressed concern over what will happen once the coronavirus pandemic passes.
“We still can’t state an exact figure as to the losses incurred,” Apymell president, Lorenzo Perez, said.
Businesses in La Linea have been forced to close after the Spanish Government last week declared that the country is in a state of emergency.
The only businesses that are still open to the public are supermarkets, pharmacies and those offering essential services.
La Linea’s biggest sector, the hospitality sector, will be the most affected by these closures.
The Government of Spain yesterday announced a 200 billion euros budget to help the economy cover from devastating consequences by the virus and is aimed at helping businesses, sole traders, employees and residents.
Mr Perez told the Chronicle: “Now that the Government will provide us with the facility to pay for taxes, I hope this will trickle down to the Cadiz Government and to all the local municipalities.”
“Hopefully this will impose a suspension on local taxes, property tax and tax on profits.”
Mr Perez also hopes that this embargo on businesses can be lifted so that businesses owners can come up with an appropriate payment plan.
“I can’t tell you how many jobs will be lost or the extent of the damage that will be caused, but businessmen are making a big sacrifice and we hope to see the administration reciprocate,” Mr Perez said.
“This is affecting both the employers and employees on both sides of the border.
Mr Perez highlighted the importance of communication and coordination by authorities on both sides of the frontier, and said security protocols and common measures should be put in place.
La Linea companies that export goods to Gibraltar will see a decline in business after stringent measures have been imposed to restrict the movement of non-essential merchandise.
“Apymell has made itself available to the authorities for anything it requires, we just hope that this ends as soon as possible, with as little damage as possible,” Mr Perez added.