[WATCH] Government committed to help struggling businesses, Silvio Schembri says

Economy Minister says government is committed to continue help struggling businesses

 Economy Minister Silvio Schembri underlines government commitment to helping struggling businesses
Economy Minister Silvio Schembri underlines government commitment to helping struggling businesses

Silvio Schembri has acknowledged that economic recovery may not be uniform across all sectors but insisted government will continue to help struggling businesses.

The Economy Minister was reacting to the contrasting results between the European Commission's Winter Forecast, which painted a positive picture for 2021, and a recent survey by the Chamber of SMEs that prospected a gloomier outlook.

The EU forecast released last week showed Malta’s economy is set to grow by 4.5% this year.

“The expected rollout of vaccinations in 2021 and a gradual easing of restrictions in the EU should set the tourism sector back on the path to recovery and re-invigorate domestic demand. In 2021, real GDP growth is expected to reach 4.5%,” the Commission said.

But a Chamber of SME survey carried out between 18 and 24 January showed small business owners aren’t so optimistic, with four in 10 businesses saying they may not survive beyond the next six months should the current situation persists.

Schembri said some sectors have been worse hit than others during the COVID-19 pandemic. “You have small businesses who have to face harder challenges than others,” he said, adding that government would not leave small businesses to fend for themselves.

The Economy Minister said government is committed to reignite economic growth and expressed his confidence in the measures adopted to counteract the negative impact of the pandemic.

“The resources we have invested into this economic regeneration plan will deliver the results we want and need,” Schembri said.

He was speaking in Safi at the premises of aviation company Gulf Med Aviation Services.

The company announced that it would be expanding it services through investment in infrastructure, equipment and personnel.

The company carries out helicopter commercial flight operations and maintenance services.

In the coming months, the company will be opening an aircraft maintenance training academy for local students through collaboration with the Institute of Aerospace Technology at the University of Malta and MCAST.