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€45 million in subsidised rent for self-employed and businesses

Scheme applicable for rental agreements signed before March 9

Businesses and self-employed people can now benefit from up to €7,500 in rent subsidies as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery package being implemented by the government.

The scheme was announced by economy minister Silvio Schembri on Wednesday at the Malta Enterprise offices in Pietà.

Rental agreements for businesses signed before March 9 are eligible for up to €7,500 in refunds.

Some €45 million have been allocated to the scheme which will benefit over 16,000 businesses and self-employed.

Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia said the time frame necessary to process the refund would be expedited, as those applicants who are eligible for the scheme and have already qualified for other aid measures, such as the COVID-19 wage supplement, would not need to have their information vetted again.

On September 9, Malta Enterprise will email eligible respondents the application details for the scheme, which can be completed online.

Applicants will have to submit a rental agreement signed before March 9, proof of their last rental payment and the declaration of enterprise in financial difficulty.

Those applying for the scheme will also have to detail if they have benefitted from other economic recovery measures.

Those with one rental contract and up to nine employees receiving the wage supplement will be eligible for a refund of up to €2,500.

Those with two rental contracts and up to 19 employees on the wage supplement may receive up to €4,000.

Applicants with three rental contracts and up to 29 employees are eligible for a refund of up to €5,500.

Applicants with four rental contracts and up to 39 employees on the wage supplement are eligible for up to €7,000 in refunds.

Those with five rental contracts and 40 or more employees receiving the COVID wage supplement will be able to receive up to €7,500 in refunds on their rent.

“In a period of challenges we as a government need to take up part of the burden for businesses to thrive, particularly small businesses who have been hard hit by the pandemic,” Schembri said.

“These schemes are primarily addressed to help businesses run by people who took a risk to better the lives of their families and whose livelihood depends on it. We want to help as much as possible to lighten the undue burden of the pandemic on business owners,” he said.

In a statement later, the Malta Chamber of Small SMEs welcomed the proposed subsidies.

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