Informed members of measures to protect themselves and their companies in order to mitigate economic losses

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Manthos MAVROMATIS
National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce in Cyprus (CCCI)

CCCI Cyprus has sent several circulars to our members informing them of the measures they need to take to protect themselves and their companies and, in addition, of how to react in the event of a coronavirus case or suspected case in their companies. Furthermore, it has uploaded an abundance of information on its website that is available at: https://ccci.org.cy/covid-19/.

Furthermore, it has had meetings with the competent ministers and has tabled a series of measures that should be taken to mitigate the adverse effects on businesses and the economy. Briefly these are:

  • Extending the deadlines for the payment of taxes and other contributions without the imposition of penalties.
  • Using State aid measures to provide liquidity and working capital to businesses.
  • Banks should provide the necessary liquidity to all businesses facing problems.
  • In addition to paid sick leave for confirmed cases or cases that have been put under quarantine for precautionary reasons, provision of income support to the employees of companies that are forced to suspend their operations.
  • Extension of the suspension of operations for hotels until 31 May 2020 and payment of unemployment benefit to the affected employees.
  • Concerning travel agencies that have been seriously affected by the pandemic, the state should subsidise the provision of leave for employees on rotation for a period of at least three months.
  • Concerning businesses in the tourism sector, reduction in the cost of electricity, which, together with the payroll, constitutes the largest part of the expenditure of these businesses, especially hotels.
  • At the same time, we should not create disproportionate barriers to the free circulation of products, while the stabilisation of cross-border value chains should be safeguarded.

Moreover:

  • The CCCI is calling on its member enterprises to try, as far as is possible in the very difficult economic situation they have found themselves in, to keep in employment all or a significant number of their staff, making use, where possible, of the government schemes for the temporary suspension of work.
  • The government must strengthen the liquidity of enterprises in every possible way in this difficult period, by extending or temporarily suspending the time limits for the payment of various taxes and levies such as VAT, social insurance, cohesion fund, as well as other levies on the payroll without the imposition of fines and punitive measures.