GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs’ end of year Business Performance Survey indicates a positive year in general. Three out of every four respondents did not report a decrease in their turnover. Nontheless, Labour shortage was once again found to be the topmost concern, with the direct result of slowing down business growth, fuelling higher labour costs and leading to high levels of staff turnover.
32% reported higher sales during the end of year peak season while 29% had lower sales when compared to the same period in the previous year.
Black Friday was reported to have had limited positive or negative effect on the festive season as a whole with only 17% reporting increased turnover because of this phenomenon. 20%, on the other hand, felt that because of Black Friday their total sales during the festive season decreased.
The Hauliers Section within GRTU, filed a judicial protest in the first hall of civil rights against the Commissioner for Inland Revenue as the legal representative responsible for the Customs Department. Through its judicial protest the hauliers section formally asks for an immediate action to be taken against any persons, being permitted to act as Cargo clearance and forwarding agents, without holding the necessary license.
“Tuna l-Kartuna tal-Halib u lill-Istrina naghtu daqqa t’id”
Nowadays the management of waste is of national importance. The Scheme Green MT, which collects separated waste from numerous Local Councils in Malta and Gozo, will be launching a campaign during the European Week for Waste Reduction. The campaign named ‘Tetra ghall-Istrina’ will be encouraging any individuals (including Schools, Local Councils, hotels, catering establishments etc.) in Malta and Gozo to join us in increasing the recycling and separation of packaged waste. The main aim of the campaign is to collect as many cartons of milk and juices (any brand), which unfortunately till last year were never considered as recyclable waste which could be disposed in the Grey bag.
Business 1st is now owned and managed by a team made up of GRTU and Government representatives. It is now a limited liability company chaired by Mr. Paul Abela, GRTU's president.
On Wednesday 22nd November Business 1st launched a series of info sessions specifically targeting SMEs. These short sessions are free of charge and are going to be held regularly. They will tackle subjects that are of interest to Maltese Businesses. These sessions are not meant to be full courses in the subject matter. They are intended as an introduction with the aim of encouraging attendees to seek further knowledge. The sessions will also include information on related Government initiatives to help SMEs become aware of them and ultimately encourage uptake. Feedback from these sessions will be requested and recorded recorded and later used to further improve dissemination and create new services.
All info sessions are free of charge and are conducted at the new Business 1st premises in Mriehel (next to Fino showroom). Currently, the venue can host around 25 students, however if demand is higher more seats will be made available in future.
Through this portal you can either apply to attend one of the listed sessions or request to be kept updated about future sessions.
Even though this year’s budget had a number of somewhat positive points, the GRTU had expected much more for Small Businesses (SMEs).
GRTU does not feel that businesses should be grateful for no increase in taxes. Businesses were one of the main contributors that generated the economic growth and surplus we are enjoying today. This time, they were also the ones left out from government’s wealth distribution plans. In the current economic scenario, GRTU had expected a reduction in corporate taxation and the reversal of the harmful excise tax, amongst other things.
GRTU welcomes positive incentives such as the extension of the MicroInvest scheme and commitments to further reduce bureaucracy as well as the increased enforcement to ensure a level playing field. These are measures that have now become commonplace in every year’s budget. One will need to see what these will actually and tangibly result in.