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COVID-19: Incentives for Business

 

Following the press conference held on 18 March 2020 wherein Prime Minister Abela announced a set of economic measures intended to aid local businesses in this time of crisis, Malta Enterprise has issued guidance as well as application forms, on the following business incentives:

Financial Assistance: Postponement of payment of certain taxes:

This incentive gives a two-month extension to enterprises, including self-employed, to pay Provisional Tax, VAT and National Insurance Contribution on Salaries. It applies for taxes owed till end of April.

Facilitation of Teleworking Activities

 This incentive is in a form of a call which supports both employers and self-employed persons to invest in technology that enables teleworking and to partially cover the costs of teleworking solutions. Support is limited up to €500 for each teleworking agreement and capped at €4,000 per undertaking. It is important to note that this call covers those costs incurred in the month of March.

 Another incentive which has been announced relates to the quarantine leave scheme in relation to which Malta Enterprise has confirmed that applications will be online as of tomorrow.

Other incentives

Other measures of a general economic dimension which have been announced but which further details are yet to be issued include:

  • €150m worth in bank guarantees
  • €750m to be made available to businesses in the form of soft loans
  • Provision of Government guarantees of up to €900m thereby making credit of €4.5bn available
  • Option to request a 3-month moratorium on business and personal loans.
  • €210m of funds being made available to cover COVID-19 related expenditure.
  • An additional €35m added to the Health budget to fund health related equipment and supplies required to fight Covid-19. Such budget may be increased further if necessary.

 Apart from the above general economic measures, other incentives relating specifically to employment include the following:

  • Grant of 2 days’ salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800) for employees of businesses that have suffered from a complete suspension of operations (e.g. accommodation, language schools and entertainment).
  • Self-employed individuals operating in the aforementioned industries will also receive a grant equivalent to 2 days’ salary per week (based on an assumed monthly income of €800). Self-employed individuals having employees shall, however, receive a grant equal to 3 days’ salary per week (based on an assumed monthly salary of €800).
  • Employees of businesses whose operations were reduced by a minimum of 25% are to benefit from a grant equal to 1 day’s salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800).
  • Individuals whose full-time employment is terminated with effect from 9 March 2020 shall benefit from a temporary increase in unemployment benefits of up to €800 monthly.
  • Measures relating to employment of third-country nationals:
  • Businesses terminating active employment contracts of said nationals are prohibited from recruiting additional third-country nationals;
  • Going forward only applications for highly skilled third-country workers shall be considered;
  • In the event of job termination of third-country nationals residing in Malta, assistance shall be provided to find alternative employment.

During this pandemic, DF Advocates is committed to provide you with further updates as more information becomes available. Meanwhile, do not hesitate to contact us on info@dfadvocates.com should you require any assistance in relation to your business.

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