The Malta Independent 5 December 2021, Sunday

Over 400 Small businesses benefit from €24m in aid to expand their business

Malta Independent Friday, 22 January 2010, 00:00 Last update: about 10 years ago

A seminar on family businesses organised by the company 2M heard finance minister Tonio Fenech expounding on the government’s belief that small- and medium-sized businesses, including family businesses – are the key drivers in innovation and job creation.

Mr Fenech said the government’s belief goes beyond rhetoric, it is not about paying lip service. “Our belief is sustained by action and proof of this is the budget proposed for this year, and the assistance we offered over the past months for businesses to flourish.”

He said that in the past months, “we supported close to 400 small businesses to the tune of e24m, thanks to the various ERDF funds” and noted the strong participation in two specific schemes, those related to international competitiveness and e-business, which have attracted more than 230 applicants.

The minister also referred to the 40 per cent tax credit scheme, supporting the cost of investment or new employment, that is being offered to any type of business including retail outlets, that want to refurbish or expand their shop or facility, invest in new machinery or equipment, which enhances their operations.

Minister Fenech added that “sustainability is the crucial element we’re after”. Spurring growth is essential and that’s why a number of fiscal benefits to motivate smaller enterprises to invest, grow and become more efficient and profitable are being planned. “The experience of the past years has shown that the government has taken a series of decisions which has allowed for businesses to flourish and grow in an economy which wasn’t immune to the global challenges, yet thanks to these decisions got immunised to sustain the chill that characterised the global economy.”

Concerning the issue of family businesses, Mr Fenech explained that in Malta this was considered to be built mostly on a traditional way of doing things.

“Today, I would say that this tradition is not the only attribute which represents family businesses. We’re witnessing a transition from the ‘traditional’ family business to a more entrepreneurial family business which is built on a vision and strategy, geared to take up challenges. Rather than quick-fix solutions, we need to continue providing targeted assistance so that business gets strengthened in the face of the challenges ahead.”

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