Just under €10.5 million were distributed by Malta Enterprise until Wednesday under the wage supplement scheme announced by the Government to help businesses remain afloat and retain workers amid the economic ills caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Giving an update of the applications received and approved and the disbursements made, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said that seeing such numbers rise was certainly not what the Government preferred. It would rather see resilient companies able to withstand the difficulties brought about by the pandemic. Still, the Government wanted to save jobs and the disbursements would go well beyond the latest €10.5 million figure, he noted.
A total of 15,532 applications were received for the full wage supplement. Out of the 6,512 applications processed, 4,869 were approved, covering 11,796 employees.
For the partial wage supplement, Malta Enterprise received 2,627 applications, 1,129 of which were processed and 668 approved. The sum disbursed amounted to €480,296.
Of the 380 applications received under the telework scheme, 130 were reviewed, 113 accepted, 17 refused and 250 were pending. The grants approved amounted to €148,000 and the total value handed out do date is €60,500.
There were 1,486 applications for quarantine leave, 1,001 of which were processed, the rest still pending. The applications cover 1,098 employees and the money disbursed reached €49,350.
Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia said about 200 applications a day were being received. He noted that there were cases where Malta Enterprise completed the processing of an application but could not go any further because emails it sent to applicants seeking confirmation or clarifications of details remained unanswered. In fact, he said, 1,600 such emails had been sent out and Malta Enterprises was awaiting a reply.
Minister Schembri also remarked that it was not the Government's intention to stop business aid as soon as relevant businesses resume operating. He also confirmed that proposals on re-opening measures to get business going again have been submitted to the health authorities.