Direct aid to SME’s needs to reach € 300 million
The government must work out a solution on the rent issue
Decisions need to be taken to support small and medium-sized enterprises, said the General Secretary of AKEL Andros Kyprianou after meeting with the Paphos District section of the General Pancyprian Confederation of Organisations of Professionals, Craftsmen and Shopkeepers (POVEK) yesterday, adding that the problems facing SME’s are chronic and the crisis with the pandemic has exacerbated them to a great extent.
In his statements in Paphos, A. Kyprianou, who visited the city’s shopping centre accompanied by AKEL militants, called on the Government to work out a solution to the issue of the rents of SME’s, but also as regards their immediate strengthening with an amount close to 300 million Euros. Decisions need to be taken that will provide real support to SME’s, he went on to say, reiterating AKEL’s position that the State must take on its responsibilities and increase the € 300 million aid package for small businesses and the self-employed. Additional borrowing, he continued, will lead businesses, which are already heavily indebted, to collapse. The General Secretary of AKEL also said that the biggest problem facing these companies today is the problem of the rent, characterising the bill for the tax relief of owners as insufficient.
Regarding the operation of shops on Sundays, A. Kyprianou stated that AKEL supports the demand put forth by POVEK for the stores to remain closed on Sundays. According to the data available to POVEK, the General Secretary of AKEL added that the reduction in their incomes, due to the fact that some large stores remain open on Sunday, is around 7%. This amount, he continued, is multiplying due to the crisis and in effect is leading small and medium-sized businesses to catastrophe, pointing out that SME’s account for 96% of the Cyprus economy.
From the moment, AKEL’s General Secretary said, “both the Finance Minister and the President of the ruling DISY party announced that they will bring a big miracle in the economy and that the economy will recover much sooner than they previously thought, we consider that the possibility exists to support these people, to help this sector during this critical period so that it will be able to function and survive, but also to keep their work force.”
On his part, the President of the POVEK Paphos District section Andreas Evripidou concluded that there is an absolute agreement of views with AKEL on all the issues of concern to the members of POVEK. The Cyprus economy, he said, is based on small and medium-sized businesses, which need to be saved and maintained, which is precisely why the government needs to help businesses with a generous program.
The General Secretary of AKEL during his tour in Paphos also visited the shopping centre, the Paphos Transport Organization (OSYPA) and the “ADONIS” construction site.