The pandemic had a highly negative impact on businesses in Mallorca. | Archive

In the Balearics, some 23,000 businesses took out Spanish government loans that were made available because of the pandemic. These are ICO credits, ICO referring to the Instituto de Crédito Oficial.

The president of the small businesses federation Pimem, Jordi Mora, explains that 18,900 ICO loans were arranged in the Balearics. On top of these were some 4,000 made with financial entities. Mora is one of those who is now asking for grace periods and for extension to repayment.

He is backed by the technical director of the Fundació Impulsa, Antoni Riera. He advocates extending the grace periods. The current situation is marked by an increase in all production costs, while companies have yet to fully recover their activity. It is important for there to be "a climate of calmness, so that businesses do not have any more problems".

At the end of this month, and under terms of the loan agreements, businesses are expected to start making repayments. But Mora insists that "with a war and an economic recovery affected by the rise in energy prices, it is practically unfeasible to return the ICOs".

The Confederation of Balearic Business Associations is of the view that, given current circumstances and the uncertainties for recovery, it is "essential" that there is an extension.

In Palma last week, the minister of industry, trade and tourism, Reyes Maroto, suggested that the cabinet will approve extension at this Tuesday's meeting.