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Coronavirus: Struggling Paralimni shopkeepers seeking state help with rents

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Paralimni shopkeepers on Friday appealed to the government for a partial funding of their rent arguing many stores have been forced to close because their sales are near to zero.

“Since shops in the government-controlled area of Famagusta are closing one after the other, shop owners are asking the government to fund one third of their rent, which is considered completely justified,” the outgoing president of the Paralimni shopkeepers’ association Markos Pashis told the Cyprus News Agency.

Shopkeepers in Paralimni submitted their proposal to the small shopkeepers’ union Povek.

The rest of the amount will be divided between the owner of the premises and the shopkeeper.

“The state should also support shopkeepers like other businesses due to coronavirus,” Pashis added.

The association said it had also appealed to the municipality for a reduction in taxes, but the response was “unsatisfactory”.

“The municipality offered a discount of €25 out of €180 to shopkeepers” Pashis said.

The lockdown which lasted through Easter left shopkeepers without any profit from products they had pre-ordered since March for the peak period.

“When shopkeepers reopened in May, they were forced to sell the products they had ordered for Easter and spring at extremely low prices,” Pashis said.

“At the same time, several had to borrow to buy and import products for the summer season, which were also left on the shelves as sales were very low.”

The situation is “tragic” Pashis said and called on the government to support shopkeepers in Famagusta “which should have been declared as in a state of emergency”.

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