Facilitating access to debt finance
Malta Enterprise has launched a micro guarantee scheme to provide eligible undertakings with the possibility to access funds for the acquisition of tangible investments, intangible assets and working capital linked to these investments.
The limited availability of funds often prohibits small businesses from carrying out new investment projects leading to the loss of business opportunities. This incentive aims to accelerate the growth of business opportunities by facilitating access to debt finance for smaller business undertakings.
The micro guarantee scheme is open to all businesses, including start-ups, which must satisfy a number of criteria. Applicants must employ at least one employee (who may be a self-employed person) and must have not employed more than 20 full-time equivalents during the previous 12 months while the total turnover of the undertaking must not exceed €4 million with balance sheets not exceeding €2 million during the fiscal year preceding the application.
The business must also be registered with the VAT Department and must be in possession of regulatory licences and applicable permits. The undertaking must qualify as a small or medium-sized enterprise and must not be linked to any enterprise operating in the same relevant market which has benefited from this incentive.
The incentive may only be used to support a new loan, used to finance investments costs approved by the Malta Enterprise, which must not exceed a total of €100,000. Banks participating in the micro guarantee scheme provide loans at favourable conditions and beneficiaries are required to secure up to 10 per cent of the loan amount. The incentive relates only to new banking facilities required by the business undertaking to carry out an approved investment project. This guarantee may not be used to re-finance existing loans or to support overdrafts and other revolving credit facilities. This scheme runs until December 31, 2013.
More information can be obtained from Malta Enterprise on 144 or at [email protected].