Malta has become a stable investment business centre holding a known innovative mind set and a pro-business attitude from both the investors and also the authorities’ side. For businesses which are either starting up, developing or going international, there are various bodies which provide aids and grants and making this process easier and facilitating this transition by means of financial aid. The grants are mainly provided by the Malta Enterprise and EU funds directly attributed to SMEs.
To provide investors with beneficial financial incentives, there are several authorities which provide financial schemes and grants, a major one being ‘Malta Enterprise’. Malta Enterprise is the leading local economic development agency, facilitating the growth of present Maltese incorporated companies as well as attracting foreign direct investment. The following is a list (not an exhaustive list) of the support measures provided by Malta Enterprise, all subject to the provided eligibility criteria.
‘Business Start and ‘Start up Advance’ – The ‘Business Start’ is a funding for small start-ups which have a new innovation, providing something new in the local scenario. The incentive is provided through a cash aid. As a follow up to the ‘Business Start’, ‘Start up Advance’ provides a cash aid and is eligible for small start-ups that are in the process of consolidating a business operation, and such operation proposes a market potential and deemed as economically feasible.
‘Investment Aid’ –It is a scheme eligible to businesses in the manufacturing, repair, industrial, laundry and IT sectors, attributed to business which are setting up a new establishment, diversifying, fundamental change or refurbishment. The aid is provided in the form of tax credits, varying from 10% to 30%. The ‘Investment Aid’ has other two sub schemes, one being the ‘Investment Aid for high efficiency cogeneration’, which is a tax credit (45-65%) provided for investments relating to high-efficiency cogeneration, and the other being ‘Investment Aid for Energy Efficiency Project’, were businesses benefit from a tax credit of 30-50% as assistance to cover extra costs in achieving higher level of energy efficiency.
‘Micro Invest’ – The ‘Micro Invest’ is a tax credit for businesses to encourage them to further invest, expand and develop their operations. The qualifying costs on which the grants are provided are furbishing and refurbishing costs, investment costs, motor vehicle costs, wage costs and PV Panels.
‘Micro Guarantee’ – It is available for all business undertakings and is aimed to provide a guarantee for the said businesses to be able to access a bank facility, normally a bank loan, given that SMEs tend to find it difficult to obtain bank financing. The guarantee varies between 50% and 60% of the facility depending on the sector, going up to 70% if the undertaking is deemed to be creating new jobs.
‘Business Development and Continuity’ – This scheme is intended to aid value added projects as well as assisting local business to sustain operations during their restructuring process. It supports activities such as initial development of establishing a business in Malta, expanding current projects, consolidation and reorganisation of activities. Under this incentive, the aid is given as less than or equal to the increase in paid up share capital and eligible expenses. The aid is provided either as a cash grant or as a tax credit, and it covers the costs of employing a foreign person to assist in the new business, relocation of assets or operating expenditure for 12 months.
Malta Enterprise also provides other schemes for investments concerning research and development projects, transportation costs for employees, refurbishment of restaurants and hotels, start up finance, transfer of knowledge, rental subsidies, catering and family-run businesses.
EU Grant Schemes for SMEs
The Measures and Support Division within the Ministry of European Affairs and Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto have been assigned to administer funds of seven grant schemes, the ERDF Grant Schemes, which are aimed at supporting SME investment within various sectors and various initiatives increasing the overall. The following is a brief explanation of the schemes:
Grant Scheme 1 – Research, Development and Innovation
This grant scheme is aimed for businesses of a number of sectors being manufacturing, aviation, health, ICT, tourism and maritime, to maximise their growth potential and develop new products and operations. The scheme is provided in four different measures, it can be provided as aid for the costs of doing a feasibility study on the project, aid for the research and development project, aid for the development of research infrastructures or for the process of the innovation.
Grant Scheme 2 – Start up Investment
It is a scheme seeking to assist start-ups established for less than three years by means of leasing of premises, the construction and improvement of such premises and also with the purchase of the required plant, machinery and equipment.
Grant Scheme 3 – SME Growth
This scheme is to support SME efforts and their intention to increase both their national and international market share by providing them with grants to finance part of their growth strategy through the extension of their establishment or setting up a new one. The grant is similar to the one provided in Grant Scheme 3, being aid in leasing of premises, purchase of plant equipment machinery etc.
Grant Scheme 4 – SME Diversification and Innovation
This grant supports SMEs which are seeking to be more resilient and be innovative for the sake of the survival of the business or the development of it and thus opt to diversify their operations, go through fundamental changes of increase investment. The scheme is a part-financing of the acquisition of tangible and intangible assets which are intended for product development, significantly improved products, and fundamental changes in the production or the enhancement of innovative solutions within the business model.
Grant Scheme 5 – SME Internationalisation
This scheme is intended to support SMEs in part-financing them taking part in International Business Promotion Fairs held abroad. This should with the aim of promoting the products for the sake of introducing them to a foreign market and eventually seeking to strengthen their international market presence.
Grant Scheme 6 – E–Commerce
The ‘E-Commerce’ grant scheme is intended to support and part-finance SMEs with the design, development and implementation of a website or mobile application to enable online sales from an online catalogue and shopping cart.
Grant Scheme 7 – SME Consultancy Services
This scheme is a part-financing scheme, for up to 80%(capped at €4000) of the expenditure incurred by business for the access of external consultancy services with the aim of the development of process and system reviews, business plans and feasibility studies.
What CSA Group can do for you?
Each and every scheme explained has its own eligible criteria regulations and vary on the amount which can be provided as well as the type of grant, being either a cash grant or similar or a tax credit.
To find out more about the eligibility in relation to above grants and how this could affect your business operation, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to guide you through the laws that apply to you.