The Association of Catering Establishments (ACE) welcomes the pro-market incentives announced by the government.
Amongst the announced measures, ACE commends the extension of wage subsidies in the catering establishments sector until the end of September, subsidies on rental, licenses and utility expenses, and the provision of vouchers to be spent in leisure activities. The latter will serve as a much-needed demand stimulant, which, paired with the cost subsidies, are expected to serve to bridge the gap in profitability and liquidity brought on by recent operational pressures and social distancing requirements regulating the dine-in product.
Recent surveys carried out by the ACE amongst its members showcase a positive trend in performance achieved in the second week of operation following the lifting of measures restricting the ability for persons to dine in at restaurants, with revenues nevertheless falling on average 40% to 60% short of pre-pandemic normalized levels. These measures will continue to encourage this upward trend, both directly in the industry, as well as throughout its supply chain, and will contribute to the sustenance and potential growth in the employment base.
The ACE appreciates Government’s commitment towards economic regeneration, and identifies with Government values and strategies, as demonstrated in the measures announced. The measures further showcase the government’s consideration of proposals put forward by stakeholders.
ACE would like to thank Prime Minister Robert Abela, and Tourism
Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli, as well as the numerous number of
individuals who were undoubtedly involved in budget preparations as well as active COVID-19 mitigation.