On 29 July 2020, the European Commission has approved aid by Malta to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Such has been approved under the State aid Temporary Framework as extended to date. The aim is to provide access to working capital to those SMEs that are facing sudden liquidity shortages due to the pandemic. The approval is for a budget of €67.5 million.

Based on the Commission's press release, the public support will take the form of State guarantees on loans for a nominal value of up to €250,000 per company. The amount of aid is capped at €800,000 per company (€100,000 per company active in the primary production of agriculture products; €120,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector) as provided by the Temporary Framework.

During the presentation of Malta's Economic Recovery Plan, earlier in June this year, Government had announced that it is in discussions with the EU to introduce a guarantee scheme through the Malta Development Bank in addition to the current  COVID-19 Guarantee Scheme and the Interest Rate Subsidy Scheme.

Originally published 24 August, 2020

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