The Malta Chamber of SMEs has been awarded the Civil Solidarity Prize by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) for its support to SMEs during uncertain COVID times.
The EESC, an advisory body that represents Europe’s civil society at the EU, held up the SME chamber as a “shining example” of solidarity during the crisis.
The award, which was announced during an online award ceremony on Monday, saw the SME chamber receive a prize worth €10,000.
The award’s winners were selected from 250 applications. All of the projects submitted had solidarity as their driving force and displayed “creative and effective ways of rising to the often-daunting challenges posed by the crisis”.
During the pandemic, the chamber moved its usual services online and stepped up its provision with a series of webinars and a platform for business owners.
For its part, it was pleased to be able to fill a gap in support that businesses desperately needed during the pandemic.
On a social level, it said, “business owners were looking for guidance and, as social partners, the [SME] chamber had a responsibility to fill that role.”
As the pandemic damage wrought SMEs, the SME chamber “stayed in contact with members and raised their concerns at the policy level”.
Business owners turned to the chamber for assistance on eligibility and applications for support schemes and engaged in dialogue with the chamber on how to come out of the crisis stronger.
More than 100 people took part in each of the SME chamber’s tailored webinars, on topics such as cash flow, mental resilience, business re-engineering and online fraud.
The SME chamber’s CEO, Abigail Mamo, commented that “the award will help [it] raise awareness about the value of social dialogue.”
She continued, “never has the functioning of social dialogue been so necessary and it is a model [the chamber] intends to build on and adapt to other circumstances”.
Malta Chamber of SMEs