Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Small business owners call for more help

Small business owners on Tuesday urged the government to accompany any stricter measures with support for enterprises and the economy.

According to small shop keepers union Povek, while this basic principle was implemented in all other European countries, this did not appear to be the case in Cyprus.

“Beyond the employment support programmes like the unemployment allowance, which workers would have received anyway, all other problems were left on autopilot and wishful thinking that the pandemic would soon end,” Povek said in a statement.

However, as the island goes through the 10th month of the crisis, the pandemic continues and new, stricter measures are in the pipeline.

Povek accused the authorities of skilfully transferring the blame and wrong handling of the issue on the public and businesses and a climate of fear is cultivated for the implementation of measures and protocols and “suicides are concealed, the poverty, the misery, the business closures, and the tragic state of the economy.”

The union urged the government to provide immediate solutions for rents, evictions, foreclosures, liquidity, suspension of loan payments where necessary, and to put an end to the “bank’s extortionate policies, even to borrowers who are consistent with their payments.”

Povek suggested some people remained unaffected by the crisis, profiteering on the backs of others while the huge majority of workers and businesses are going through exceptionally difficult times in an environment where uncertainty kills.

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