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Business owners ‘on the verge of despair’

pasika
Pasika members demonstrating against SafePass checks in July (Christos Theodorides)

Hospitality venue owners on Wednesday voiced their growing concerns over the soaring cost of electricity, urging the government to find adequate solutions to prevent businesses having to close down.

Speaking to Cyprus Mail, head of the Recreation Centre Owners Association (Pasika) Fanos Leventis said almost all business owners in Cyprus are “on the verge of despair.”

“We cannot continue to sustain such costs to keep our businesses alive,” he said.

“The cost of electricity is now out of control and people working in the hospitality field are already battling the many issues brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Leventis mentioned the emergency support package for businesses approved in the UK on Wednesday, which includes a cap aimed at significantly reducing the price paid for energy from October 1 to help them get through the winter.

The UK government has stepped in to discount wholesale power prices for companies, charities and public sector organisations, including schools.

Under the plan, they will be given support for six months to protect them from soaring bills. Further help will be offered to companies in vulnerable industries after that.

“This is a great example of a government helping businesses and people in need,” Leventis said.

“We are not asking for our bills to be erased, we are merely asking for help in order to keep us afloat.”

Leventis said many of his association members are facing electricity bills “that are simply impossible to sustain.”

“One of our members showed me a bill for his restaurant on Wednesday. For two months he now has to pay €17,000. How can anyone afford to pay that? The entire situation is absurd and needs to be properly addressed as soon as possible,” he concluded.

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