SME chamber slams government for ‘complete disregard of social partners’

Malta Chamber of SMEs says basic COVID-19 support measures, while still necessary are far from enough to bridge the gap towards the recovery of various sectors 

The Malta Chamber of SMEs has slammed government for its “complete disregard of social partners” when announcing the lifting of restrictions earlier on Wednesday.  

While welcoming visibility for some sectors the chamber said that what was communicated on Wednesday morning is clearly a manifestation of the breakdown of social dialogue as to how such decisions are reached.  

“Even though everyone appreciates the delicate situation at the moment and in principle we agree with the staggered re-opening, one cannot but feel a great level of worry and anguish at how businesses will continue to survive this extra stretch,” the chamber said.  

It said that after a full year of hardship, businesses started 2021 with big hopes, yet great fragility, and being closed during a time when business should be recovering is very hard to endure. 

“The SME Chamber is extremely worried and questions how businesses will be able to survive yet another stretch with the big losses they are suffering. It is evident that the basic Covid support measures, while still very necessary are far from enough to bridge the gap towards the recovery of various sectors,” the statement read.  

The chamber said certain sectors have reached a very critical level and unless helped more will not make it into the recovery stage. “The SME Chamber is already in advanced discussions with a number of Ministries for the hardest hit sectors on this front.” 

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