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Businesses closings

Subject: Fwd: Forecast: 60,000 small businesses to close in 2003

>Jan. 7, 2003
>Forecast: 60,000 small businesses to close in 2003
>60,000 small business are expected to close in 2003, the Organization of
>Independent Businessmen said in a press conference held in Tel Aviv on
>According to the organization, 50,000 small businesses closed in 2001
>representing a 30 percent increase over 2001 in which 35,000 closed. The
>organization called on the government to provide aid to help prevent the
>expected closures.
>At the press conference, Director of the Organization of Independent
>Businessmen Zev Viner presented a letter from the Ministry of Defense which
>demanded that suppliers to the Ministry sign a document stating that they are
>willing to accept a delay of payment for their services until April of 2003,
>four months after payment was due. Viner said that many small business will be
>forced to close as a result of the delay of payment from the Defense Ministry.
>"The service providers need to pay their employees, their partners and income
>tax on bills that were sent to the Defense Ministry. If the ministry delays
>payment until April many will not have the means to pay," he said.
>On a more positive note Viner said that he had come to an agreement with
>Customs and VAT Authority Director Eitan Rov to the effect that businesses
>that can prove that over 50% of their income comes from government ministries
>will be allowed to delay payment of their VAT.
>Viner also presented statistics showing drastic drops in sales in all branches
>of the economy. Tourist business was down 80%, furniture sales had fallen
>30-40%, clothing and culture related sales were down 30% and sales of food and
>and electronics were down 15-20%.
>To help the small businesses weather the recession Viner called on the
>government to prevent a rise in property tax and help local authorities keep
>water, gas and electricity costs down. He also called for immediate
>unemployment payments for those whose businesses have failed.
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