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GFSB writes to Government regarding ‘Large Events’ cancellations

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The GFSB has written to the Minister for Business and the Minister for Civil Contingencies regarding the recent cancellation of “large events” announced by Government on 22 July 2021 and the call for “private bars, restaurants and nightclubs to be cautious in the events that they hold, to strictly control numbers and to ensure that clients are vaccinated AND have a negative COVID-19 test result.”

These measures, which effectively put an end to business in the large events sector for the foreseeable future, come just days after the Government was giving permission to events to operate at full capacity and have created considerable uncertainty in the food and beverage sector as to what measures they should now be implementing.

It is not the role of the GFSB to give public health advice and we recognise the fact that Covid cases are rising as are hospitalisations.  The Federation is, however, concerned that policies that fundamentally affect the ability of an entire sector to operate can so rapidly go from “full capacity” to “nothing at all”. It is also concerned that bars, restaurants and private venues are being called on to police much stricter criteria for entry, whilst at the same time being given no practical guidance as to what “being cautious” means in practice or how and when it should be implemented.

The business community is facing amongst the most difficult operating conditions of recent times with the combined challenges of Brexit uncertainty, the pandemic and increased taxes and social insurance announced in the recent budget.  It is quite clear that the fight against the Covid 19 pandemic is not over and that a return to business as usual may yet be many weeks, if not months away.  In those circumstances it is absolutely vital that the Government work with businesses to reduce uncertainty, enabling them to plan as much as is reasonably possible.  We, therefore, ask the Government to;

  1. Conduct meaningful engagement with the business community before rolling out any further public health restrictions;

  2. To work with the business community to establish sector specific measures to be implemented as and when required;

  3. To establish key public health indicators that set out the basis for implementation and easing of restrictions;

  4. To publish that information in a “Lock / Unlock the Rock” document similar to that which was published in 2020.

The GFSB members are acutely aware of the personal tragedies and deaths that Covid has already caused in our community.  We also recognise as much as any other sector, the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic brings.  It is our members who have seen their businesses closed, their incomes collapse and their plans in tatters.  We recognise the hard work being done by Government, public authorities and agencies to control this pandemic.  However, as it becomes clear that those challenges may remain for many weeks and months, restrictions must be implemented in as predictable and specific a manner as possible and in accordance with established criteria.

GFSB Membership Survey 2021

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We value your views. Your feedback and comments are important to us and are always welcome. In this survey, we hope to give you another opportunity to give us your thoughts on our service and how we can possibly improve it for everyone.
Please take a few moments to answer the questions below, it is very much appreciated.

Fill in Membership Survey

UK Community Renewal Fund closing date extension

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Due to difficulties being encountered by businesses with obtaining the necessary documentation to complete their applications for the UK Community Renewal Fund, the Gibraltar Expansion & Development Secretariat has extended the closing date for the submission of bids to 12.00noon on Friday 30 July 2021.
Potential applicants requiring any further information or assistance should contact the Funds Advisor on tel: 20073255 or email advice@geds.gi.

Make sure you are on Visitgibraltar.gi

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The Gibraltar Tourist Board (GTB) has asked us to inform restaurants and retailers that you can freely list your shop/bar/restaurant on the Visit Gibraltar directory for free.

Restaurants – https://www.visitgibraltar.gi/eat-and-shop/restaurants-bars
Shops – https://www.visitgibraltar.gi/eat-and-shop/shopping

All you need is to supply the following to the GTB:

  • Business Logo – ( minimum 263px wide x 148px high)
  • Name
  • Contact and telephone number
  • Email address
  • Location
  • Opening Times
  • Website link

Kind regards,

Justin Bautista
Gibraltar Tourist Board
Email: justin.bautista@gibraltar.gov.gi
Tel. +350 20046274

Gibraltar Expansion & Development Secretariat visits GFSB membership

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PRESS RELEASE – UK Community Renewal Fund

An information seminar to promote the UK Community Renewal Fund in Gibraltar was held by the Gibraltar Expansion and Development Secretariat. The event was hosted by the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses at their premises in Irish Town.

GFSB members were invited to make enquiries about the Fund and avail themselves of the Funds Officers present.

The bidding round for applications closes at midday on Friday 9 July 2021. More information and application forms can be found on the Gibraltar Expansion and Development Secretariats website www.geds.gi or by phoning the Funds Advisor on 20073255.

ENDS

Increase in Social Insurance contributions 

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PRESS RELEASE – Increase in Social Insurance contributions 

The GFSB notes with dismay the increase in social insurance contributions announced by the Government last week. 

The biggest burden resulting from these increases will be on those businesses that have suffered the most through Covid and are still struggling to get back on their feet – retail, food and beverage as well as others. These are businesses that provide employment at the lower end of the pay scale and will be disproportionately affected by these measures. 

Further, increasing the cost of employment will discourage employers from recruiting staff at a time when the employment market is also trying to get back to normal. 

Whilst the Federation appreciates that the Government may need to increase revenue following on from the pandemic, this should be done in a balanced and measured way, with the burden distributed across the community. 

The Government has previously promised to do away with sudden hikes in social insurance payments so as to provide certainty for businesses, but these measures represent a very large and unexpected increase in social insurance. Government should consider more equitable income raising measures that do not target the lowest paid, and the smallest businesses, as well as ensuring that increases are incremental. 

ENDS

GFSB Business Innovation Award 2021 sponsored by Gibtelecom

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GFSB Business Innovation Award 2021 sponsored by Gibtelecom

The GFSB is delighted to announce that the WINNER of the GFSB Business Innovation Award 2021 is Crucial Compliance Limited who wins the amazing prize of £2,000 of telecoms and IT products/services sponsored by Gibtelecom.

Congratulations to Crucial Compliance Limited and the runners up Shine Easy.

The GFSB would like to take this opportunity to thank all the applicants. The judges have been very impressed with the quality of the entries especially at these challenging times with COVID19 still impacting the local and global economy. Innovation amongst Gibraltar’s entrepreneurial community is still certainly very much alive!

Commenting on the winners, Eran Shay, GFSB Board Director and a judge on the Business Innovation Award, said: “As always, it has been a tough decision to make given the variety and quality of innovations we have seen, but Crucial Compliance with their Responsible Gaming solution have demonstrated implementation of latest behavioural analytic technologies along with a successful business model which has already allowed the company to scale-up, expand internationally and help over 35,000 customers. It is an important addition to the Gibraltar eGaming ecosystem.”

Kathryn Morgan, Marshmallow Insurance Limited and one of the judges explained “This year’s runners up, Shine Easy demonstrated innovation in their use of technology to reduce the environmental impact of keeping our cars clean amongst a number of other ideas.” 

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