The Malta Chamber of SMEs welcomes MCESD Chairperson David Xuereb to its offices

Malta Chamber of SMEs President Mr Paul Abela and Deputy President Mr Philip Fenech welcomed MCESD Chairperson, Architect David Xuereb to its offices.

During the meeting, both sides discussed the upcoming issues being tackled by MCESD and how they can improve the work being done by the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD).

The Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD) is an advisory council that issues opinions and recommendations to the Maltese government on matters of economic and social relevance

Inflation and employee shortages named as the top concerns for businesses – SME Barometer®

Malta Chamber of SMEs proposes once again to Reducing VAT from 18% to 15% on all goods and services to tackle inflation and to lower tax for businesses

The Malta Chamber of SMEs conducted the annual Business performance survey for 2023 as part of the SME Barometer® in collaboration with Misco Malta.

The press conference was addressed by SME Chamber President Mr Paul Abela, Deputy President Mr Philip Fenech, CEO Ms Abigail Agius Mamo and Misco Malta Director Mr Lawrence Zammit.

The survey, which included 283 respondents, was carried out between the 12th and 23rd of January 2024.

46% of these respondents said that they employ between 1 and 9 employees.

When compared to 2022, 46% of the respondents said that turnover increased in 2023 while 28% said that turnover decreased and 26% replied that turnover remained the same.

Businesses said that the main reasons to the increase in sales in 2023 include better sales strategies, increased brand presence and more stability among others.

62% replied that customer spending power was one of the main reasons that led to the decrease in sales in 2023. This followed by 44% due to increased competition and 37% due to inflation.

When replying to how profitable was their business as apposed to the previous year, 40% of the respondents said that it was less profitable, 26% said that it’s more profitable and 34% replied that profits remained the same.

63% said that the main causes of price increases are employee wage and salary costs. The cost of products coming from abroad and transport costs (freight costs) were the second and third causes according to respondents.

The Malta Chamber of SMEs President Mr Paul Abela said that in the face of escalating inflation, businesses are making concerted efforts to absorb the impact to maintain sales levels.

Mr Abela said that the challenges, including persistent employee wage and salary costs, along with rising costs of imported goods, have prompted calls for urgent government action to address issues of unfair competition and governance.

Abela insisted that despite increased efforts to boost sales and turnover, businesses are grappling with a continued decrease in overall profits. Inflation has emerged as the top concern for businesses and the country at large, surpassing issues like employee shortages. The prevailing uncertainty in the business landscape is hindering further investment, concluded Mr Paul Abela..

Misco Malta Director Mr Lawrence Zammit said that responding to the growing concerns, business leaders emphasise that the real cost of doing business in Malta is on the rise. Local factors are identified as key contributors to price increases within businesses.

Malta Chamber of SMEs CEO Ms Abigail Agius Mamo said that in light of these challenges, there is a pressing need for government intervention to ensure that political decisions do not exacerbate inflationary pressures. Proposals have been put forward to address these issues and foster economic stability:


  • VAT Reduction:

Advocating for a reduction in VAT from 18% to 15% on all goods and services to counteract inflation, aiming to stabilise prices while maintaining revenue.

  • Tax Incentives:

Calling for a lower tax rate for businesses to foster a level playing field among enterprises operating in Malta.

  • Work Permit Extension:

Proposing an extension of the validity of work permits for employees earning over €25,000 from one year to two years to promote stability and workforce retention.

  • SISA/EXCISE TAX Removal:

Urging the removal of SISA/EXCISE TAX (hidden Tax) from everyday consumer goods, including water, non-alcoholic beverages, personal care products, and more. This move supports local production, manufacturing, and enhances economic stability.

  • Economic Planning:

Advocating for the execution of a medium to long-term economic plan to provide businesses with a clear roadmap for sustained growth.

  • Insularity Challenges:

Seeking government support for businesses to address insularity issues and enhance competitiveness.

  • Public Procurement Reform:

Urging the reform of Malta’s public procurement infrastructure to ensure transparency and good governance at a national level.


The Malta Chamber of SMEs emphasises on the importance of collaboration between the private sector and the government to navigate these economic challenges successfully. These proposed measures aim to not only alleviate immediate concerns but also lay the groundwork for a resilient and competitive business environment in Malta.


State Aid Ceiling for companies increased from Euro 200,000 to Euro 300,000

With effect on 1st January of this year, a revised De Minimis Regulation has been adopted on the 13th of December 2023. The revised regulation will remain applicable until the 31st December 2030.

The revised regulation aims to increase the ceiling per undertaking, the introduction of an obligatory registry and the facilitation for financial intermediaries to further aid companies through guarantees.

Increase in Ceiling per single undertaking: The previous De Minimis Regulation, in place since 2008, has been adjusted to meet the evolving economic landscape. The ceiling per single undertaking company has been raised from €200,000 to €300,000 over a three-year period.

The three year period is calculated on a rolling basis For each new grant the amount of de minimis aid granted in the previous 3 years needs to be taken into account.

This increase in ceiling is intended to cater for inflation, ensuring that businesses can access a higher threshold of aid without triggering the need for extensive State aid control.

Introduction of Obligatory Registration: A notable addition to the amended regulations is the introduction of an obligation for Member States to register de minimis aid in a central register.

This register can be established at either the national or EU level and is set to take effect from January 1, 2026. This new requirement on member states is aimed to facilitate reporting obligations for companies and centralise information gathering.

Safe Harbors for Financial Intermediaries: Recognizing the role of financial intermediaries in facilitating aid through loans and guarantees, the revised regulations introduce safe harbors for these intermediaries. This means that financial intermediaries will no longer be required to pass on the complete advantages of aid to end beneficiaries. This adjustment aims to encourage financial institutions to play a more active role in supporting businesses without being overly encumbered by rigid pass-through requirements.

Although the Malta Chamber of SMEs had initially request an increased ceiling of Euro 800,000, the increased ceiling is good news for SMEs wanting to do more but have in the past been restrcied due to the De Minimis Regulation. Addtionally the revised regulation also aims to facilitate the application process for businesses.

These amendments mark a positive step towards simplifying regulatory procedures, encouraging financial intermediaries to actively participate, and ultimately promoting the growth of businesses across the European Union.

Want to know more?

The Malta Chamber of SMEs offers free one-to-one EU advisoy meetings for members, wanting more guidance on EU funds available for your business. Get in ouch by sending an eamil to or call on 21232881.

Managing the Future: How ESG principles can help SMEs achieve long-term success

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices are becoming more and more important for small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) in a time when corporate responsibility is no longer just a slogan but a strategic imperative. ESG principles are now more than just a fad; rather, they are a compass that points companies in the direction of sustained success in the future. When SMEs set out on this transformative journey, including ESG principles gives them a competitive advantage and opens doors to new prospects while also aligning them with global sustainability goals.


The Need for ESG in SMEs

A company’s influence on the environment, its relationships with stakeholders, and the efficacy of its governance systems are all assessed through a wide range of elements that are included in ESG. Adopting ESG practices is a strategic decision that can result in long-term profitability for SMEs; it’s not just about checking boxes on a checklist.


  1. Environmental Stewardship:

Adopting environmentally friendly practices makes the world a healthier place and establishes SMEs as accountable environmental stewards. SME commitment to environmental stewardship can be shown through lowering carbon footprints and adopting sustainable sourcing and production practices. By reducing waste and increasing energy efficiency, these techniques not only draw in environmentally concerned customers but also save money.


  1. Social Responsibility:

ESG practices take into account not only environmental factors but also the social impact of company activities. Through programs like social cause support, fair labor practices, and local employment development, SMEs may invest in their communities. SMEs may establish a strong reputation, increase brand loyalty, and draw in socially conscious clients by cultivating great relationships with staff, customers, and communities.


  1. Effective Governance:

Any successful firm is built on a foundation of sound governance procedures. SMEs may achieve accountability, resilience, and transparency by putting in place robust governance frameworks. The growth of moral corporate conduct is guided by ESG principles, which lower the possibility of legal problems and increase stakeholder and investor trust. SMEs are positioned for sustainable growth and scalability when they are dedicated to governance excellence.


The Competitive Edge of ESG for SMEs

SMEs can gain a significant competitive edge by adopting ESG practices, in addition to satisfying their ethical responsibilities. SMEs that include ESG principles can position themselves as desirable partners for investment and collaboration, while larger firms prioritize sustainability more and more.


  1. Access to Capital:

Businesses with strong ESG credentials are becoming more and more valued by investors. Businesses that implement ESG standards increase their attractiveness to sustainable funds and impact investors, hence increasing their capital availability. Businesses that comply with ESG criteria will be in a good position to draw in a variety of funding options as long as the financial markets maintain their appreciation for the importance of ethical business practices.


  1. Market Differentiation:

SMEs have a competitive advantage in the market thanks to ESG practices. Businesses that share the beliefs of their customers stand out as consumers grow more aware of the impact of their purchases. SMEs may stand out from the competition, draw in a devoted clientele, and develop a favorable brand image that outlasts price rivalry by announcing their dedication to ESG principles.


  1. Talent Magnet:

ESG-conscious, Millennials and Gen Z workers that are concerned about environmental issues look for companies with a mission. High-caliber talent is drawn to SMEs that place a high priority on social responsibility and sustainability. Businesses that promote environmental sustainability measures typically find increases in employee happiness, productivity, and retention rates. This leads to a positive feedback loop.

In summary, SMEs have an opportunity for sustained success by implementing ESG practices, not merely a duty. SMEs may increase their resilience, draw in investment, and set themselves apart in a crowded market by embracing environmental, social, and governance principles as they navigate the future. As companies come to understand the importance of ESG, being a consultant with a focus on helping SMEs undergo this transformation can be a fulfilling and significant career move.

Dr. Roberta Lepre

Weave Consulting – the ESG Specialists


The Malta Chamber of SMEs , in collaboration with Weave Consulting – the ESG Specialists, is offering its members free advisory services to help them understand and implement ESG in a simple and affordable manner. To book your free session , email us on or call 21232881.

Malta Chamber of SMEs meets Opposition Leader Bernard Grech

The Malta Chamber of SMEs met Opposition Leader Dr Bernard Grech and a number of Members of Parliament to discuss current issues related to members of the Malta Chamber of SMEs.

SME Chamber President Paul Abela mentioned a number of issues which businesses are currently facing and emphasised the importance of social dialogue and a long term plan for Malta.

President Mr Paul Abela, Deputy President Mr Philip Fenech, CEO Ms Abigail Mamo and Council Member Mr Beppe Muscat participated on behalf the SME Chamber during this meeting.

SME Chamber CEO voices members concerns on the price stability scheme

Malta Chambers of SMEs CEO, Ms. Abigail Agius Mamo, participated in TVM’s program ‘Insights,’ where she discussed the Government’s price stability scheme.

During the discussion, Ms. Mamo expressed the SME Chamber members’ concerns about the scheme and offered alternative solutions to the Government.

Throughout this issue, the SME Chamber supported its members.

Up to €2500 funding for SMEs to protect thier trademarks, patents and designs

The SME Fund, a European Commission initiative implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has been launched once again this year and will run till the 6th of December 2024. Funds are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. 

The SME Fund offers financial support to SMEs established in the European Union. The application can be filed by an owner, an employee or an authorised representative of an EU SME acting on its behalf.

In this regard, the Commerce Department is collaborating with the EUIPO to offer financial support/grants to those SMEs by providing 75% reimbursement of trademark, design fees and patent fees at EU and national level. The grant consists of a partial reimbursement of costs to the beneficiary, up to a maximum of €1,000 per beneficiary in the case of trademarks and designs and €1,500 per beneficiary in the case of patents.

In 2024, in addition to these services, the SME Fund will also reimburse partially the representation costs charged by legal professionals relating to the preparation and the filing of European patent applications.

Applicants can apply at any point in time until 06/12/2024

The call for proposals have opened according to the timeframe below:

  • Call submission period: from 22/01/2024 to 06/12/2024

  • Evaluation of the submitted applications during the period: weekly cut-off: every Friday

  • Evaluation and notification period: 10 working days from cut-off

The weekly cut-off means that all the applications submitted during the preceding week will go through the evaluation step.

In the event that the EUIPO contacts the applicant during the evaluation process to request complementary information, suspension of the evaluation and notification period takes effect on the date the EUIPO sends the request. The period resumes from the date on which the requested information or revised documents are received.

Applicants will be notified individually about the results of the evaluation process by email to the contact persons provided in the eForm. Therefore, it is responsibility of the applicant to submit the correct email address of the contact person(s).

This notification will contain for:

  • Unsuccessful applicants: the reasons for the negative decision;

  • Successful applicants: the confirmation of the positive decision and a copy of the Grant Decision (VOUCHER) as attachment.

It is important to note that vouchers are not retroactive, costs for activities executed before getting the grant decision cannot be reimbursed.

Should all the funds be used before the end of the call submission period, the online application system (eForm) will be closed and applicants will be informed accordingly on the SME FUND website. 

Applicants will need to click on and proceed with filling the relative application form. After receiving the voucher, the SME can apply for their trademark and/or design and/or patent on or for an EU application on and/or and thereafter, for the reimbursement with the EUIPO.

More details can be found at:

Press Release: Completion of Mosta project expected by end of next week

The Malta Chamber of SMEs has been notified that the Mosta project is set to conclude by the end of next week, with the opening of ‘Contituation Street’ for vehicle access. The SME Chamber has been regularly chasing Authorities on this matter as Mosta’s businesses have suffered greatly as a result of the works in Mosta, and the delays were very heavy to bare. It is therefore appreciated to have a commitment from the respective Authorities and we are optimistic that there will be no additional delays.

Over the past few months, businesses faced substantial sales losses and were adversely affected. The Mosta project has places Mosta businesses’ livelihood in serious peril.

With the project now completed and the announcement of the imminent reopening of the main Mosta road, we anticipate a revitalisation of the Mosta business community, leading to a dramatic increase in their viability once again.

Call for Businesses: Register for the UK-EU Green Skills Workshop

Register by Friday 26th January 2024

The UK Mission to the EU in partnership with the UK Skills Partnership, are hosting a UK-EU Green Skills Workshop between 1:30-7pm on Thursday 29th February in Brussels for UK and EU Skills providers and businesses.

The purpose of the event is to facilitate knowledge-sharing and encourage cooperation on developing skills training which meets the workforce needs of the renewable energy sectors and sustainable construction. The UK and EU are committed to achieving our net zero targets. However, we are both facing a lack of sufficient workers with the specific skills-sets needed to implement net zero technologies, particularly in renewable energy sectors and sustainable construction. This workshop will provide the opportunity for UK and EU skills providers and businesses working in these sectors, to exchange views on the shared challenges which exist to tackling these skills shortages and best practice to overcome these barriers.

In collaboration with the UK Skills Partnership the UK Mission to the EU is hosting a Green Skills Workshop in Brussels between 2-7pm on Thursday 29th February for UK and EU skills providers and small-medium sized businesses to facilitate knowledge-sharing and encourage cooperation on developing skills training which meets the workforce needs of the renewable energy sectors and sustainable construction.

Skills providers and businesses whose work relates to these sectors who are interested in and available to participate at the event should complete the short Expression Of Interest form available here before 23:59 PM on 26 January.

Please note that the form includes further details of what the event will involve and the full terms and conditions.

Any additional questions can be directed to .