MK Shaked calls on govt. to take steps to protect economy from Coronavirus fallout

Small businesses will be especially hard hit by fallout from Coronavirus. Government needs to extend tax breaks, provide safety net

Arutz Sheva staff ,

small business, illustrative
small business, illustrative
Garrett Mills

In a Facebook post on Monday, MK Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) urged the government to devote attention to dealing with the financial victims of the Coronavirus crisis.

"Some of the victims of the Coronavirus are not talked about enough. I am referring, of course, to the Israeli economy and especially to small businesses," Shaked wrote.

The former minister noted that the damage was particularly severe "during this special Purim holiday period for which businesses have been preparing, expecting the seasonal rise in sales."

"This week, in every restaurant I visited I asked the owners how occupancy was. Every single one told me that occupancy had dropped by between 30 and 50 percent. It's awful. Thousands of small business owners have been hurt by investments they made - in vain, as it turned out. Events postponed, loads of canceled reservations, empty restaurants, empty cinemas, empty hotels... And it's these [small business owners] who are the ones to suffer," Shaked noted.

"Why should this bother us?" Shaked asked. "[It should bother us] because the self-employed and business owners support the Israeli economy. They create employment and support other businesses and facilitate a national cycle of economic activity. And on the day after the storm, when we've found a vaccine for the virus and want to get back to normal life, who will still be willing to take the risks?

"A critical component of the war against this virus should be waged in the economic sphere. We must not neglect this. I urge the government not to ignore the imminent danger to the economy. Allowing tax payments to be postponed and extending credit to businesses affected by the virus will provide a safety net for them, enabling them to navigate their way through the expected crisis period. This is the order of the day," Shaked concluded.