Maltese Prime Minister Dr Robert Abela announces €20m new COVID-19 assistance to businesses


Term of tax credits extended. Grant of €1,000 for outlets shut after May 10

Maltese Prime Minister Dr Robert Abela together with Minister for Energy, Enterprise, and Sustainable Development Dr Miriam Dalli this morning announced a new €20 million aid package in financial assistance to businesses heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at a press conference, Prime Minister said businesses had been required to make many sacrifice, but the government was determined not to let anyone stand alone

He said the government is giving an additional €20 million in aid to businesses, and tax credits of €78 million, which could have been lost are having their term extended by three years to be used by businesses.

Schemes will also be made available to businesses that re-model in a way which is sustainable, digital, and environmentally friendly.

Dr Abela pointed out that by the end of April, the government would have issued €455 million in wage supplements and other assistance including rent subsidies. Some 100,000 employees have benefited from the wage supplement, half of which come from the private sector. Also, Malta Enterprise assisted over 17,700 businesses.

Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli said the new assistance will inject liquidity and stimulate activity. The assistance will include subsidies on rent and electricity bills. In both cases, subsidies will be up to 50%. Businesses which remain closed after May 10 will be given a one-time grant of €1,000.

Schemes will also be offered for ‘smart and sustainable investment’ and entrepreneurs who suffered psychologically during the pandemic will also find help, Dr Dalli said. Tax credit certificates will also be extended by three years to help in business liquidity.

Replying to questions, the Prime Minister said that had the government not intervened in the way it did over the past months, tens of thousands of people would have become unemployed. That ugly forecast never materialised.

He also reiterated that the government is aiming at robust economic recovery and will not be imposing new taxes.

Asked about MHRA call on why restaurants would only be allowed to reopen up to 5pm as from May 10, the Prime Minister said the decision was based on scientific advice. He appreciated the sacrifices that are being made, but said his appeal is not to rush but to be cautious. ‘ The curfew isn’t perpetual and will eventually be reviewed,’ he said.

‘Encouraging’ bookings for summer.

Questioned on forecasts for the summer, the Prime Minister said tourist bookings to date were encouraging and he looked forward to a good summer.

The €20 million aid package at a glance:
  • Businesses which remain closed after May 10 will be given a one-time grant of €1,000.
Direct Support Measures with the scope of injecting liquidity
Top-up of Rent Support Scheme
  • Rent Scheme will be extended by a further 50% over and above the rent assistance provided for 2020.
  • Applicable to those undertakings closed as per LN90/2021.
  • 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
  • Scheme will be open to businesses closed as per LN90/2021.
  • The subsidy will cover 50% of the total electricity bill.
Incentives aimed at stimulating economic activity.
Restart Incentive Scheme
Change to Grow 2021
  • Enhanced Business Re-engineering and Transformation Scheme
  • Criteria widened to include self-employed and micro enterprises.
  • Double the aid intensity cap from €5,000 to €10,000 for implemented projects.
  • Specific resources will be dedicated to support scheme-up.
  • Tangible support to entrepreneurs who faced serious challenges to their going concern.
  • Entrepreneurs will be offered the possibility to engage professional business advisory.
  • The scheme will finance advisory costs up ro €5,000 which could be extended to €10,000 to support the implementation phase of the new business initiative.

Psychological support to Entrepreneurs

  • In line with this objective, Malta Enterprise will fund a specialised programme intended for psychological support to these entrepreneurs by professional experts in the field.

Smart and Sustainable Investment Scheme

  • To assist companies in kick-starting the investment cycle after the pandemic
  • To signal the policy direction in terms of new economic niches which the country intends to develop in line with the European Green Deal
  • Incisive aid intensity in the form of cash grants up to €50,000
  • Additional 20% support in the form of tax credits
  • The Cash grant will be increased in the following instances:
    • Investments made in Gozo
    • Investments made by start-ups
    • Investments which directly create new green jobs

Extending the tax credit certificate issued through Micro-Invest Scheme

  • 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 3 years respectively i.e. 2024, 2025, 2026
  • Injection of €78.4m in 8,861 businesses

Further information on the schemes will be on published on the Malta Enterprise website, or send email on or call Business 1st call centre on 144.

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