2018 has been a fruitful year for the Measures and Support Division. The past 12 months registered a constant and encouraging response from the private sector in relation to take-up under the different support measures of the Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes initiative.
To date, 50 per cent of the allocation aimed at enhancing Malta’s competitiveness through investment in SMEs has been approved and allocated to SMEs operating in different sectors of the economy, namely manufacturing, health, ICT, tourism and retail. This is equivalent to over €13 million, currently supporting more than 200 SMEs that are being utilised to part-finance supported actions under this initiative. Even more encouraging is the fact that around 40 per cent of the supported SMEs are family businesses that have been established for less than five years.
In our continued support to enterprises, and in recognition of the need for further investment by the private sector in research, development and innovation, the Business Enhance RD&I Grant Scheme was launched earlier this year. With an allocation of €20 million, this scheme supports private investment in RD&I actions in specific smart specialisation areas, through four specific measures aimed at supporting both SMEs and large enterprises planning to invest in this field.
The Measures and Support Division reminds interested applicants that there are currently 10 open calls for applications under all the ERDF Grant Schemes and the periodical cut-off dates till mid-2019 for all these calls are published. Eligible applicants interested in expanding their business, becoming more competitive, wishing to delve into new markets and foster entrepreneurship to further strengthen Malta’s economy are invited to send in their applications for support under the various grant schemes.
The Measures and Support Division has successfully collaborated with the Malta Chamber of Commerce on more than one occasion during this year and actively participated during the 2018 SME Week events. This Division looks forward in renewing its collaboration with the Malta Chamber of Commerce during 2019.
Furthermore, through its Helpdesk, the Measures and Support Division continuously provides information and assistance to potential applicants by email on email@example.com, over the phone on 2295 7110, through the Business Enhance website on www.businessenhance.gov.mt, as well as through Information Sessions which are held periodically. Potential applicants may seek further information and register their interest to participate in the Information Sessions through the Business Enhance website www.businessenhance.gov.mt
The Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes are part-financed through the European Regional Development Fund with an 80 per cent co-financing rate from EU Funds and 20 per cent from National Funds.