Last Updated on Wednesday, 7 December, 2022 at 9:19 am by Andre Camilleri
The MicroInvest scheme, operated by Malta Enterprise, is being extended to enterprises investing in systems to support clients with disabilities. The modifications to the scheme were announced by Enterprise Minister Miriam Dalli and Parliamentary Secretary Keith Azzopardi Tanti during a visit to the Foundation for IT Accessibility (FITA).
Minister Dalli and Parliamentary Secretary Azzopardi Tanti explained how the financial support will help applicable enterprises modify existing computer systems and websites, allowing increased accessibility for people with different abilities, in the presence of Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia and FITA CEO Carlo Stivala.
The MicroInvest scheme encourages enterprises to invest in their businesses by supporting investments in innovation, expansions, and operational developments. In 2021 alone, Malta Enterprise received 3,852 applications against an estimated investment of over €35 million. The scheme provides enterprises with a tax credit calculated as a percentage of eligible expenditures. Now, enterprises that invest to enhance their services in favour of persons with disabilities, are eligible for a tax credit equivalent to 45% of the eligible expenditure. An additional bonus of 20% (for a total of 65% tax credit) applies to undertakings operating from Gozo.
“We are committed to supporting enterprises that invest in their ESG credentials – one of which revolves around the social aspect. Enhancing accessibility is one such element, and extending the MicroInvest scheme is another tool that supports enterprises in this transition,” Minister Miriam Dalli said.
The Minister also encouraged enterprises to benefit from a second scheme managed by Malta Enterprise, Facilitating Work Life for Individuals with Disability, which grants support for companies investing in employees with disabilities. The aid under this scheme is awarded in the form of a cash grant and covers 90% of incurred eligible costs, up to a maximum grant of €10,000 for every project.
Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Research, and Innovation Keith Azzopardi Tanti spoke about the importance of the extension of the Microinvest scheme for the development of websites that are accessible to all, including vulnerable people, in line with the European Union directives. “This is the aim of FITA, to provide professional help to businesses and vulnerable people who improve accessibility, especially in the workplace.”
He explained that FITA is expanding its work so that vulnerable people can have a holistic inclusion within the community and live a normal life. “This is the social justice that the Government wants to implement in our country,” the Parliamentary Secretary concluded.