FINANCIAL help for bars, cafes and restaurant during the winter pandemic is ‘fair and reasonable’, said the government.
It believes that the financial aid of 20% of wages plus government-backed loans will be enough to protect local hospitality businesses.
Last week the Gibraltar Catering Association (GCA) claimed that the government has ‘little understanding of the problems facing the hospitality industry’.
It said that limiting number to half capacity and not lowering private rental fees is forcing businesses to the ‘cliff-edge’ of having to close down.
In response, the government said that it had already lowered rents, rates and licence fees for tables and chairs.
Along with the loans, it said this is ‘significant and unprecedented support’ for businesses.
The government argued that the measures taken were ‘significant, fair and reasonable’, providing much more support than many other countries.
However, the GCA argues that lower numbers forces restaurants, bars and cafes to turn away customers via the booking system.
“Restaurant owners must understand that survival is the objective of these measures and not for them to profit at the expense of the tax payer,” said the government.
“There will be hardship in this and every sector but Government cannot and will not fund businesses further than these measures.”
The lack of tourism caused by COVID-19 has also hit all private businesses hard since the pandemic started in March.
Readers will recall that the government paid £11 million pounds to businesses for the BEAT Covid scheme during the lockdown.