The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) announced on Tuesday it would initiate a series of meetings with competent ministers to discuss the effects of Coronavirus on the economy.
The issue was examined at a sitting of the CCCI’s board of directors that decided the following:
- To maintain constant communication with its members to stay on top of adversities faced as a result of coronavirus.
- To keep businesses informed on prevention measures that need to be adopted and measures for tackling potential crises.
- To meet with the competent ministers to obtain updates on next steps to protect the economy from coronavirus’ repercussions.
- To request measures from the government in support of businesses directly affected by Coronavirus.
CCCI has concluded that so far the effects on the economy mainly concern the travel and hotels sector with indications that these will spill over into other sectors as a result of disruptions in the normal operation of the supply chain.
The chamber has suggested the adoption of targeted fiscal, monetary and financial measures to mitigate impact to businesses and employees, namely:
- Extension of deadlines for tax payments (including VAT) and social contributions.
- Prompting banks to adopt lenient measures on repayment of loans like the extension of payment deadlines.
- Activation of government backing to provide businesses with liquidity and working capital (via de minimis or rescue and restructuring plans). Targeted credit assurances for the short-term needs of businesses could be provided in that direction.
- In addition to the paid sick leave for affected employees in self-isolation, provide income support to workers at businesses that are forced to suspend operations, especially for tourist ones that have already implemented alterations in force until the end of May.
- As regards tourist businesses, which are suffering the biggest hit, proposed cuts in the price of electricity consumption that — together with salaries — comprises the primary expenditure of hotel units.
- Recommend to the European Commission to devise mechanisms in support of affected businesses.
- Recommend to the European Commission to exclude from the primary surplus targets any coronavirus-related expenditure. It is emphasised that Cyprus’ fiscal status has improved in recent years, thereby allowing the state to take targeted measures without significant fiscal turbulence without risking the sustainability of public finances.
The CCCI underlines that any measures taken by the Cyprus government and other member states should not disproportionately impede free trade, while the stabilisation of cross-border value chains should become a priority.
The chamber finally urges its members and the public at large to remain calm and follow the Health Ministry’s instructions on preventive measures on the virus.