COVID-19: Government launches €20 million financial package and tax credits

Incentives will stimulate Maltese business in important summer of recovery

Energy and enterprise minister Miriam Dalli
Energy and enterprise minister Miriam Dalli

The Maltese government has introduced a new set of direct support measures to incentivise businesses in 2021 as Malta slowly increases its COVID-19 vaccination rate.

The rent scheme will be extended by a further 50% over and above the rent assistance provided for in 2020; new applications for those approved under the Wage Supplement Scheme in 2021, will be accepted.

New applications for those approved under the Wage Supplement Scheme in 2021 will be accepted. 

The Electricity Support Scheme will be reissued for June-August, to cover 50% of the total electricity bill.

There will be a cash grant of €1,000 for those businesses that will remain closed beyond 10 May.

There will be a doubling of the aid intensity cap, from €5,000 two €10,000 for implemented projects on business re-engineering and transformation, opened up for SMEs and micro-enterprises.

Specific resources will be dedicated to support scheme take-up. 

Businesses facing serious challenges will get professional business advisory, with costs financed up to €5,000 and also extended to €10,000 to support a new phase of business initiative.

Entrepreneurs will be offered the possibility to engage professional business advisory.  

Malta Enterprise will fund a specialised programme for the mental health of business owners.

Cash grants of up to €50,000 and additional 20% in tax credits will be used to assist companies to kickstart their investment cycle and develop niches falling under the European Green Deal, such as digitising of business and other sustainable development models. Investments made in Gozo will qualify businesses for higher cash grants.

Tax credits already awarded can be utilised, with tax certificates due for expiry in 2021-2023, these will be extended by three years (2024-2026), with the injection of €87 million for over 8,800 businesses.

Passport papers

Asked on stories published by a number of media houses on the IIP scheme, Abela said the Passport Papers are a “populist move” aimed at attacking the scheme. 

“It is rejigging of information we already knew about. We had good due diligence and we continued to improve it,” he said. 

Standards Commissioner 

Last week, Labour Whip Glenn Bedingfield called out the Standards Czarfor issuing reports strategically to hurt government. He went on to say that the commissioner should not be a former MP. 

“It is a crucial part of the country’s democracy, and we will always seek to reform and improve it,” he said. 

MHRA reaction to new incentives 

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association said it was satisfied with the government’s support of businesses and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The continuous support which Government is giving to businesses facing difficulties is a clear demonstration that our decision-makers believe that investing in our economy to keep it going is the best way to manage its way out successfully from what is a very difficult situation for all,” MHRA President Tony Zahra said.

The MHRA said it was also pleased to note that today's incentives included the extension of current incentives as well as new ones that would keep sustaining hotels and restaurants as they gear up for the summer.