Government to launch ‘significant’ measures to help businesses with coronavirus impact

Government working on measures to support businesses affected by economic slowdown due to Covid-19

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri was addressing a press conference on Thursday
Economy Minister Silvio Schembri was addressing a press conference on Thursday

The government is working to launch “significant” economic measures to support local businesses being impacted by the economic slowdown brought on by the coronavirus, the economy minister has said.

Silvio Schembri said that the government recognised that particular sectors of the economy were going through challenging times due to a low demand for their products and services.

Schembri, who was speaking during the launch of the 10th edition of the National Enterprise Support Awards (NESA) on Thursday, said Malta would be facing the challenges caused by the virus from a strong starting point.

“It is challenging times like these that put the government to the test on the ability to devise and support effective economic measures. Malta stands in a strong economic position to do this," Schembri said. 

"The measures that will soon be announced are possible thanks to a mindset which fosters the creation of a surplus that this government has generated over the years, as well as a thriving economy. The decisions taken and those that shall be taken are in the best interest of our country and nation."

Schembri said that the supportive economic measures will be organised in three stages; short-term measures aimed at addressing those businesses with cash-flow problems, as well as medium-term measures and long-term measures to assist those businesses which will be facing decreasing orders for their products and services due to a global economic slowdown emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as to train their workers and improve competitiveness.

Discussions were held with several stakeholders and will be continuing, Schembri said, as he highlighted that after a meeting held with the Malta Bankers’ Association, HSBC and BOV had announced their own initiatives, aimed at helping businesses and individuals facing economic hardship related to the current situation.