Fabian Demicoli

MicroInvest Scheme Reaching The Thousand Mark

Almost a thousand micro enterprises including start-up companies and self-employed which between them invested a total of €15.7 million and generated more than 235 new jobs have already applied for the MicroInvest schemes, which assists them to innovate, expand and develop their operations.

The scheme, which was originally envisaged to last until the end of this month, has been extended for another year to cover projects carried out in 2012 in response to an overwhelming demand which saw more than 936 applications being submitted, thereby giving even more businesses the opportunity to benefit from the assistance.

Nonetheless, those enterprises who submit their application by the end of March would be ensuring that their application is processed in time for them to benefit from the assistance during the course of
this year. Approved applications will be given a Certificate that would have to be presented to the Inland Revenue Department with the Tax Return.

Through the MicroInvest scheme administered by Malta Enterprise, businesses can get 40 per cent of the investment to improve their own operations in the form of tax credits, up to a maximum of €25,000.

At 60 per cent of the eligible expenses, the benefit is even higher for Gozitan businesses in view of their double insularity, which often places them at a disadvantage. This additional bonus has encouraged even more Gozitan enterprises to apply for this scheme, and indeed around 30 per cent of those who benefited from the MicroInvest scheme operate in Gozo.

Overall, more than €4.7m in tax credits have already been approved, covering a vast range of investments that businesses have made to improve their day-to-day operations and enhance their growth possibilities.

Eligible expenses include furbishing and upgrading of business premises, machinery and technologies to improve operations and to save or generate energy, as well as investments to ensure compliance with regulations. Also covered are wage costs for new jobs created, as well as the cost for one commercial vehicle as long as such vehicle is involved in the transport of goods as specified in the incentive guidelines.

Open to all micro enterprises that employ less than 10 workers and which have an annual turnover under €2 million, including start-ups and self-employed, the scheme is part of the support provided to SMEs in recognition of their vital role for the economy.

The efforts aimed at strengthening the business environment to ensure it is conducive to job and wealth creation have also led to the creation of Business First, which makes life easier for businesses and particularly SMEs by gathering over 50 Government services under one roof and thus avoiding a lot of unnecessary running around.
Through Business First, which is located at Gwardamangia, businesses will also be given professional guidance and assisted to apply for a myriad of schemes, including the MicroInvest scheme. Further information can be obtained by calling Business First on 144 or via email on , or by visiting http://www.maltaenterprise.com/News_Details.aspx?ID=400&utm_source=Malta+Enterprise+Newsletter&utm_campaign=392fa0c10a-thincMalta_Newsletter_02_2012&utm_medium=email.

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