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Coronavirus: Finance ministry pledges to help nightclubs

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The finance ministry on Tuesday said it was prepared to draw up plans to help nightclubs after the financial blow dealt by the pandemic.

The comments were made during a House commerce committee discussion where the issue was raised.

The nightclub sector’s endurance has reached its limits, committee chair and Disy MP Kyriacos Hadjyiannis said after the session.

He welcomed the ministry’s decision, saying that the committee asked it to find a way to solve the sector’s issues and eliminate employee losses while also helping people who missed out on government grants “so they don’t end up needing unemployment benefits”.

The committee heard from representatives of the Cyprus nightlife association (Pasydek), which said 30 nightclubs – eight in Nicosia, one in Dali, eight in Limassol, six in Ayia Napa, four in Paphos and three in Larnaca – have been heavily affected by the pandemic.

According to Pasydek, these nightclubs remained closed for around 62 weeks on the coast and 76 weeks in Nicosia, seeing their incomes fall by 100 per cent as a result of not operating at all while coronavirus measures were in force.

As a result of the long-term suspension of their operations, nightclub owners argued that they did not benefit from frozen VAT payments or frozen loan repayments, as the measures simply postponed their debt.

They added that unlike other sectors, their own did not receive any subsidies to pay their employees.

According to the data provided, the nightclub sector has received €610,000 in total, with some businesses receiving between €2,000 and €3,000 during this entire period, pushing them into what the association called “unprecedented destitution”.

“These businesses have accumulated a massive burden that they cannot bear alone,” Hadjiyiannis said,

“Therefore, the state assistance must continue today”.

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