Fabian Demicoli

Meeting the Naxxar & Gharghur Business Community

As part of its programme to set up yearly appointments for its members within all of Malta's Localities, GRTU has this month held a Locality meeting for the Naxxar and Gharghur business community. The prime aim of these annual meetings is of bringing GRTU closer to its members to better cater for their needs by reaching out to them directly from a place that is more easily reachable. The meeting was chaired by GRTU Locality Vice-President Michael Galea.

 

The meetings are useful to touch base with our member, giving them very valuable information for their business and hearing from them about what issues they would like GRTU to address in order to help them in their business activities.

Public Transport Reform: How will this effect the Localities of Mosta and Gharghur

Representatives from the MITC gave an overview of the public transport reform and the main changes that will come about. They also gave Locality specific information regarding public transport services within the community. The presentations can be obtained from GRTU upon request.

All present welcomed the effort to give users a public transport that is more reliable, efficient and has a better presentation. A suggestion from the floor was put forward that the direct link between the locality of Gharghur and Mater Dei be maintained as it seems to be one of the most popular routes. There was some disappointment from the side of the Naxxar business Community that Mosta and not Naxxar or not Naxxar as well was chosen as a major interchange hub which the Naxxar business people feel might cause some loss of business to Mosta. Some present also complained that they will have to catch more busses when coming from outside Naxxar to work however the MITC assured them that they will not feel much of a change since the service will become more efficient. 

Environment: Separated waste collection from the business community & reducing your waste

GRTU explained to those present the important changes that the requirement to separate waste and waste management schemes are bringing about. We explained that in many Localities today there is a specific day reserved for the collection of separated waste from the business community. Agreement on a date has not yet been reached for Naxxar and Gharghur. GRTU however also assured those present that before a date is set Eco Councilors will be sent to survey the business community and from there we will come up with a date that suits the business community's needs best. GRTU also explained the obligations of importers and local buyers under the waste packaging Directive. Where importers must register with MEPA as importers of packaging waste (the carton, shrink rap, pallets, etc.. coming with the importation of the actual products) and local buyers must check that the companies they are buying from have a waste packaging registration number on their invoice. For more information on waste collection and environmental obligations kindly contact GRTU.

Those present who were importers asked on how would they go about quantifying the weight of waste packaging they get yearly with their imports. These were asked to contact GRTU as they must be computed on a case by case basis and we would help them carry out this exercise. A question was also asked for other types of waste produced for example the waste thrown by butchers. GRTU explained that this fell under the Animal By-Products Directive and that till now through GRTU, Government has carried out a study to quantify the amount of waste falling under this category is thrown away and at the moment it is analyzing the feasibility of the options it has for implementation of the Directive.

Commerce: Licences, rights and Obligations

A representative of the Commerce Division was also present to the meeting and the first thing she outlined is that all businesses in operation must have their activity licensed by the Commerce Division. This except some few cases which are licensed by the MTA. If a business is operating without a license it is infringing the law and would be operating illegally. Explained was also the licencing procedure and that change of address, use or closure of a business must be immediately notified to the commerce division. An overview of the opening hours was also given.

Those present were not aware of most of the information given and they requested contacts of the Commerce division to update their situation. Questions were also asked related to specific cases of opening hours. More information on the opening hours is available from the GRTU and more information on Licencing can be obtained from Ms Silvana Borg of the Commerce Division on 25690199 or on .

Malta Enterprise's MicroInvest Scheme

A Malta Enterprise representative gave an overview of the tax credit scheme which can save businesses up to €25,000 off their tax bill when making an investment in their business. The scheme is targeted at enterprises employing less than 9 full time employees making an investment which includes furbishment, the wage of new employees and also vehicles used for the transport of goods. The application system was also explained which consists of just 2 pages and is very simple to fill in. The tax benefit a self employed person or an enterprise is eligible for is calculated as 40% of the amount spent on the investment and enterprises can apply once every year, preferably at end year so that all expenses of that year are included. Eligible expenses are those made since January of this year will end 2012. Help and further information can be obtained from GRTU.

Due to unforeseen circumstances two interventions had to be cancelled. A representative from the Consumer Division had to had to provide an explanation on consumer rights and obligations would have included price indication, disputes between businesses and consumers, etc.. The other representative should have presented the ETC Employment Aid Programme which offers a scheme to employers who choose to employ a person considered to be at a disadvantage and have in most cases half of the salary and NI paid by the programme for a duration of 3 months.

GRTU invited those present to put forward anything they wished GRTU to address regarding problems they experience hampering their business within the Locality. Anyone still wishing to put forward such situations is invited to contact GRTU.

GRTU also invited those present that if they are interested they can form part of the Naxxar and Gharghur Locality working Group. Members in these Localities who could not attend are still invited to put their name forward if interested. GRTU needs the continuous input of its members to work on and solve issues within a specific Locality. This would be the prime aim of the working group. The working group would meet on a monthly basis.

If you did not have the opportunity to attend and would like to know more kindly contact Bernice Cutajar @ GRTU.

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