Business First is offering a number of new services aimed at helping businesses and boosting their potential to succeed.
In keeping with the commitment to deliver a large number of services for businesses under one roof, the one-stop-shop facility is being strengthened with the presence of officers from the VAT Department at Business First.
Through their expertise, the officers will better equip Business First - which also hosts a MEPA officer on a weekly basis - and will ensure that an improved service is provided to clients.
The re-evaluation of the services at Business First has also led to the setting up of an outreach programme comprising a number of initiatives.
The approach in this case is twofold, namely the organisation of information sessions for enterprises in collaboration with various stakeholders, as well as the scheduling of company visits to bring the services offered at Business First and Malta Enterprise closer to businesses. Currently, plans are being concluded on a structured programme of company visits.
In addition to the new services at Business First, Malta Enterprise has also developed revised versions of the Micro Guarantee and Micro Invest schemes to assist micro and small enterprises.
The Micro Guarantee scheme aims to accelerate business growth by facilitating access to finance for smaller undertakings, which often have limited availability of funds and consequently may find it difficult to carry out new investments and take up business opportunities.
Through the Micro Guarantee scheme, eligible undertakings will be given a guarantee of up to 65% or 80% depending on the activity. The Guarantee can cover loans between €2,500 and €100,000 obtained from commercial banks. The Guarantee which may be used to finance projects leading to business enhancement, growth and development.
The Micro Invest scheme will continue to encourage undertakings to invest in their business, to innovate, expand, and to develop their operations. Undertakings, which may include self-employed persons, will be supported through a tax credit representing a percentage of the eligible expenditure and wages of newly recruited employees.
Malta Enterprise may approve a tax credit on an annual basis equivalent to 45% of eligible expenditure, which includes costs incurred between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2020. An additional bonus of 20% applies to undertakings operating from Gozo, which may thus benefit from a tax credit of 65%.