Prime Minister Robert Abela together with Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Minister Miriam Dalli on Tuesday announced a series of COVID business aid measures that serve as direct assistance and to stimulate economic activity.
The new set of economic measures are intended to inject liquidity, via those schemes offering direct support, as well as incentives to jump start the economy.
Measures to boost liquidity
Top-up of Rent Support Scheme
The rent scheme will be extended by a further 50 per cent over and above rent assistance provided for 2020. Businesses forced to close in 2021, under Legal Notice 90/2021, will be eligible for this top up. In addition, new applications for those approved under the Wage Supplement Scheme in 2021 will be accepted.
Top-up of Electricity Support Scheme
The Electricity Support Scheme will be re-issued, covering June, July and August 2021. This will also be eligible for businesses forced to close this year under Legal Notice 90/2021, while the subsidy will cover 50 per cent of the total electricity bill.
One-time grant to mitigate against business lost due to restrictions imposed
A cash grant of €1,000 will be given to those businesses that will remain closed beyond 10th May.
Measures to spur economic activity
‘Change to Grow 2021’
This Enhanced Business Re-engineering and Transformation Scheme will see criteria for eligibility widened to include self-employed and micro enterprises. The aid intensity cap is to be doubled from €5,000 to €10,000 for implemented projects. Specific resources will be dedicated to support the scheme’s take-up.
Restart Incentive Scheme
This scheme will see “tangible support to entrepreneurs who faced serious challenges to their going concern”. Entrepreneurs will be offered the possibility to engage professional business advisory services. It will finance advisory costs up to €5,000 which could be extended to €10,000 to support the implementation phase of new business initiatives.
It will also include psychological support to entrepreneurs, where Malta Enterprise will fund a specialised programme by professional experts in the field.
Smart and Sustainable Investment Scheme
This scheme is intended to assist companies in kick-starting the investment cycle after the pandemic. It will also serve to signal policy direction in terms of new economic niches which the country intends to develop in line with the European Green Deal.
“Incisive aid intensity” will be offered in the form of cash grants up to €50,000. An addition 20 per cent support in the form of tax credits may also be offered.
In certain instances, the cash grant will be increased. Such examples cover investments made in Gozo, investments made by start-ups and investments which directly create new green jobs.
Extending the tax credit certificate issued through the Micro-Invest Scheme
Authorities announced an extension of the period by which tax credits already awarded can be utilised. Tax certificates due for expiry in 2021, 2022 and 2023 will be extended by three years respectively, i.e. 2024, 2025 and 2026.
This measure has seen an injection of €78.4 million in 8,861 businesses.
For further information, businesses have been urged to visit regeneration.maltaenterprise.com or call 144 for further assistance.
Prime Minister Abela said Malta’s economic prospects are good, where he cited economic experts and credit ratings agencies as having placed Malta among those countries perceived to have more encouraging economic prospects.
Minister Dalli stressed that the authorities are committed to help businesses through this patch, highlighting how close to half a billion euro has already been disbursed via direct assistance to businesses through Malta Enterprise.
Over 100,000 workers have benefitted from the COVID wage subsidy scheme so far, amounting to half the total number of employees in the private sector.
She said the schemes announced today are in line with the economic priorities of the European Green Deal, and will serve to prepare businesses for the new economic realities, helping to re-engineer towards more sustainable practices.
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