Bank of Valletta (BOV) and the Malta Development Bank (MDB) organised an information session about the main issues that small businesses encounter within island regions. The main theme of the meeting was “Financing Gozitan Businesses to Prosper”, and was organised in collaboration with the Gozo Business Chamber according to a press statement by BOV.
During the session, Christian Vella Masini from the Ministry for Gozo said that the 5% growth of the economy of Gozo per annum per capita can be predominantly attributed to small-scale but high value-added manufacturing and services activities.
In addition, Mr Vella Masini underlined the interest by the Ministry for Gozo in welcoming incentives that provide easier access to finance. In fact, these are necessary to further enhance investment and job creation within Gozo, giving life and energy to such businesses.
Furthermore, MDB chief officers Joseph Darmanin and Maria Xuereb explained that the MDB performs a promotional role, supporting productive and viable operations where the market is unable to accommodate due to higher credit risks. Therefore, their bank works on complementing commercial banks in bridging financial gaps in bankable investments. It provides guarantee schemes intermediated through commercial banks to enhance small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) access to finance and to facilitate more attractive terms for bank lending to SMEs.
Moreover, Executive SME Finance of BOV Alfred Buhagiar illustrated how these guarantees assist SMEs to tap into financing through the BOV Family Business Success and BOV SME Invest loan products.
As a matter of fact, the BOV Family Business Success facilitates the transfer of ownership between family members within a Family Business certified with the Family Business Office, while the BOV SME Invest offers a financial solution to SMEs including startups, seeking finance to grow and reach their full potential through reduced collateral requirements and financing costs, the press release says.
“Businesses in Gozo never operate on a level playing field as those on the mainland, and the Malta Development Bank can be the bridge or link that can help our enterprises prosper. With this in mind, we will be asking the Malta Development Bank to study regional financial packages, which acknowledge the specificities of our Island,” concluded the President of the Gozo Business Chamber Joseph Borg.