Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri launched the Rent Refund Scheme for Self-Employed and Businesses as part of the Plan for the Regeneration of the Economy.
The aim of the scheme is to reduce costs for self-employed and businesses, support the operating expenditure of businesses that had to temporarily cease or limit their operation due to the pandemic, as well as to safeguard employees.
“More importantly, the scheme is specifically aimed at small businesses, particularly those that have one outlet. These will benefit from €2500, the maximum financial support that falls under the category. These can claim their rent refund over a number of months throughout the year, until they receive the maximum amount,” said Minister Schembri.
It was estimated that through the economic measures announced that a self-employed person and a small business;
- may benefit up to €1500 through the electricity refund scheme;
- a maximum support of €2500 through the rent subsidy scheme;
- €3000 through the Covid Wage Supplement were received by that business during the months of March till September;
- Therefore, it is estimated that a self-employed person and a small business have benefitted of up to €7000.
Minister Schembri said that, through the plan for the regeneration of the economy, the government sought to aid businesses and the self-employed to be able to cater for exigencies and adversities which will allow them to maintain their business operation. Hence, a total budget of €45 million is being allocated which will support over 16,000 self-employed and businesses.
The scheme covers;
- All those businesses benefitting from the Covid Wage Supplement;
- For tenants, not landlords;
- For rental agreements covering the year 2020.
As part of the eligibility criteria, the scheme shall cover rental agreements that entered into force before the 9th of March 2020 and are commercially related. For a commercial property to be deemed eligible for the scheme, it must be rented from the private sector/third parties specifically for carrying out of economic activities.
It was explained that the self-employed and businesses with one outlet may claim up to €2500. On the other hand, businesses with five outlets can claim rental costs of up to €7,500.
Further details on the eligibility criteria as explained during the press conference;
|Employees receiving wage supplement||Eligible rental agreements||Maximum Support|
|1 to 9||1||€ 2,500|
|10 to 19||2||€ 4,000|
|20 to 29||3||€ 5,500|
|30 to 39||4||€ 7,000|
|40 and over||5||€ 7,500|
Kurt Farrugia, Chief Executive Officer of Malta Enterprise, remarked that during the past 24 hours, the corporation has already sent the initial email to over 16,000 businesses that shall benefit from the electricity refund scheme announced last week.
“As from the 9th of September, businesses and the self-employed benefitting from the Covid Wage Supplement will be receiving an initial email guiding them through the online application with regards to the rent refund scheme,” said Mr Farrugia.
Applicants must submit;
- A copy of rental agreement;
- Proof of last payment (this should cover full or part of 2020);
- The Enterprise in Difficulty Declaration form – signed and scanned;
- Aid Received form – signed and scanned.
Mr Farrugia explained that, following this, the Malta Enterprise shall proceed to effect refunds directly to businesses, whilst remarking that rent scheme applications need to be processed manually.
For further assistance, one may contact Business First by calling 144 during office hours or by sending an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, one may visit regeneration.maltaenterprise.com or www.maltaenterprise.com.