Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar (HMGoG) has made a claim form available so that catering businesses can apply for compensation for the cost of perishable goods that they were unable to use due to the closure of their bars and restaurants last Friday 18th. Many of these businesses will have stocked up on perishable goods in the run up to a period that they would ordinarily expect to be busy. HMGoG aims to compensate claimants in mid-January 2021 provided they have followed and fully complied with the Covid rules and regulations.
HMGoG has explained the public health reasons for the closure of bars and restaurants, that are considered to be in the best interests of our community. This measure was also supported by the Official Opposition.
The one-page claim form has been circulated to various business representative groups, namely the Gibraltar Catering Association, the Chamber of Commerce and the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses. All catering businesses are encouraged to complete the form, even if they do not have any perishable goods to claim as this will assist Government in formulating other financial support measures that are presently being considered. Completed forms should be returned by email to email@example.com by no later than 31st December 2020.
HMGOG is also considering providing further financial support to specifically support these businesses in meeting their staff costs during this period of disruption and closure. The information provided in the claim forms will assist HMGOG in quantifying and targeting the support required, in a manner consistent with and complimentary to the BEAT COVID financial support currently being provided. This support will include contributions to the payment of salaries in keeping with the BEAT COVID mechanisms.
In order for the claims to be processed quickly and efficiently, Government is requesting that the claim form be completed using Excel (where possible), and by the due date. Claims not received by this date may not be considered.
The Minister for Business, Tourism, Transport and The Port, the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP, stated: “Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is committed to compensating and supporting businesses operating within the catering industry as we have done from the outset of this pandemic. This requires a careful analysis of their costs, some of which are mitigated by the various measures that we have already announced previously. These measures that apply to the catering sector, such as rent discounts and rates waivers, will continue until March 2021. This form will allow us to analyse the other costs incurred and the amounts foregone by the catering industry over what would otherwise have been amongst the busiest weeks of the year for most of them. A further announcement will be made once Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar determines the most efficient way of assisting this industry. In the meantime, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Gino Jimenez and his colleagues from the Gibraltar Catering Association who continue to volunteer their time to work with us to deliver genuine and targeted support to their members. That has always been our goal and it continues to be despite the challenges we face.”