The new normal – expectations and preparations

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Joint Webinar by Bank of Valletta and EY

The business landscape has changed fundamentally and tomorrow’s environment will be different, but opportunities will be rife for those businesses which are prepared and rise to the occasion.

Financing, expectations and preparation were the main themes of a webinar hosted by Bank of Valletta and EY for medium to large enterprises and larger family businesses.

“COVID-19 hit our bottom lines, but every cloud has a silver lining.  COVID-19 has pushed us to do things that we don’t normally do, to think outside the box and challenge our convictions and our way of doing things. We need to continue with this type of thinking because that is the only way that our businesses will survive and evolve,” stated Albert Frendo, BOV Chief Credit Officer in his opening address.

“It is time to painstakingly study business journeys, reassess strategic directions and focus on creating long-term value. Today business continuity needs to be safeguarded through effective crisis response planning, moving on to igniting recovery through business adaptation and stronger enterprise resilience and finally creating long-term value by reframing and transforming our businesses,” declared Chris Meilak, EY Malta Associate Partner. “Businesses can grow their reputation and trust by innovating and fulfilling consumer demands, creating an inclusive culture by developing our employees and providing them with a solid purpose.  Businesses need to optimise costs and margins, while at the same time remain genuine about their social and environment impacts. All this will help achieve long-term growth and build stronger enterprises.” 

Frendo continued to explain the features of the BOV-MDB COVID Assist and how businesses can access the necessary funds to help them through these difficult times.  “The BOV-MDB COVID Assist is a financing scheme that benefits from the support of the guarantee schemes launched by the Malta Development Bank and the Ministry of Finance.  Local SMEs and Large Enterprises facing unprecedented disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak can benefit from this type of low cost financing to get through this period and meet their working capital requirements and running costs and expenses critical for the smooth running of the business.”

“The cost for the business will be 0.1% for the first two years after government rebate plus the guarantee fee. This is attractive and will help inject much needed liquidity into our local businesses. However, we must understand our obligations and duty to keep to our commitments.  Ultimately, the government aid is tax payers’ money and all of us are responsible to ensure that this is utilised in the most ethical and correct manner,” concluded Albert Frendo.

This webinar was the first of a series of webinars that will be organised by EY focusing on topics aimed at assisting businesses during the COVID-19 scenario.