By Jean Paul Busuttil
Malta Enterprise is a Maltese government’s exclusive agency, focused on attracting inward investment and supporting enterprise in Malta. Its role is to act as a single point of contact for all enterprise support in Malta and to provide cohesion to government policies and efforts relating to enterprise in the country.
In December 2013, Malta Enterprise re-launched the Micro Guarantee and Micro Invest Schemes which is intended to aid the expansion of small enterprises in Malta and Gozo.
The Micro Guarantee scheme
The scheme will provide businesses or entrepreneurs who employ at least one person, where it will provide guarantees up to € 100,000 to cover up to 80% loan from bank to develop their business.
The scheme will help particularly small to be viable projects, where to date they did not had the means to finance them. The loans, covered by the warranty, can be used among others to:
- develop new business, products and services
- investment in new technologies to grow sales or number of employees and growth in overseas markets
- Potential of growth in foreign markets
Micro Guarantees may be utilized for accessing funds required for the acquisition of tangible and intangible assets, including plant and machinery, fixtures and fittings, immovable property and intellectual property, and working capital linked to such acquisitions.
After the project is approved by Malta Enterprise, the contractor can approach a bank of his choice after a warranty is issued by Malta Enterprise.
The Micro Invest scheme
The objective of the Micro Invest Scheme is to encourage undertakings to invest in their business, innovate, expand, and develop their operations. The scheme will be open for expenses incurred by eligible undertakings during the year 2013, where such undertakings will be supported through a tax credit amounting to 40 % of the eligible expenditure and wages of newly recruited employees (the tax credit shall be capped at €25,000 per undertaking). The main difference between this scheme and that of previous years (which brings the same name), is that it will be open to enterprises employing up to 30 people.
The scheme as it will now open, gives rise to enterprises to apply until March of 2014 for costs made during the year 2013. The assistance provided covers, among others on costs on machinery and technology to improve the operation and even payroll.
All assisted jobs must be maintained by the beneficiary for a period of at least 36 months. Any investment in equipment, instruments and motor vehicles must also be retained for at least 36 months.