Almost half of business owners surveyed by a retailers’ union say they are reconsidering or cancelling investment plans for 2020.

A survey carried out by the GRTU – Chamber of SMEs suggests that damage to Malta’s economy caused by ongoing political turmoil is already being felt by small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The survey, which the GRTU said crossed over 50 different economic sectors, found that 65 per cent of respondents said business was down over the past weeks, with 15 of those saying they were struggling with more than a 50 per cent drop in sales.

A total of 46 per cent of respondents said they were now reconsidering, cancelling or putting off investments they had planned for next year. 

The situation was even more dire for business owners in Valletta, which has been rocked over the past weeks by a series of protests calling for Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to resign immediately.

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Even sales of essential items such as medicines are down, the GRTU said.

“Malta has been ridiculed long enough. The Prime Minister needs to step down now,” the union said, as it slammed MPs who it said had “should have stood up to be counted when their country needed them most”.

 “Our message is not targeted at protestors but at those in power that dragged and are still dragging their feet. This is the instability that you have caused.”