abigail mamo

The Malta Chamber of SMEs has welcomed Tuesday morning’s announcements regarding the long-term extension of the wage supplement to those businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, and insisted that a similar extension for the bank moratoria is necessary to avoid “the sure demise” of these businesses.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the SME Chamber added that Malta must adopt a “much more aggressive” approach in its vaccination process to ensure that the whole population is vaccinated as quickly as possible.

It therefore called for the vaccination distribution “to be extended to private clinics and healthcare professionals who are able and willing to give the vaccine in the community.”

Regarding the extension to the wage supplement, the SME Chamber said that it emerges from an “intense consultation” which included it as a key proposal.

“Even though the wage supplements are essentially funds, which are passed on to the employees to cover part of the wage cost, this is still extremely important as the business’ most important resource is their employees and businesses are also doing their best not to let go of any employees.”

It also said that it is important that businesses are given “a good idea of what to expect during the coming months in relation to the wage subsidy”, calling it “the most important scheme during the COVID period”.

Turning to the bank moratoria, the SME Chamber welcomed the announcement of ongoing work related to their extension.

“The SME Chamber is gravely concerned that once the period imposed by the central bank elapses, those businesses that need the moratorium most, will be asked to start repayments, leading to the sure demise of these businesses.”

“The SME Chamber has been emphasising that business is far from normal and many businesses have not seen any businesses since March last year now. Ending the moratorium period will surely be a death sentence for these businesses.”

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