VALLETTA, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Maltese businesses and the self-employed may benefit from a 45-million-euro scheme to help subsidise their rent costs and alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister for the Economy Silvio Schembri said Wednesday.
Schembri said the scheme was one measure from the economic recovery package announced by government to help kick-start the economy and help businesses cushion the impact the pandemic had on their operations.
Around 16,000 businesses and self-employed in the country are eligible to benefit from up to 7,500 euros in rent subsidies.
To reduce bureaucracy and speed up the application process, those businesses which already benefited from other measures, such as the wage subsidy, will not need to have their details vetted from scratch.
Applicants will have to submit a rental agreement signed before March 9, proof of their last rental payment as well as a signed declaration that their enterprise was in financial difficulty.
"In a challenging period, the government stepped in to shoulder part of the burden for businesses to thrive, particularly small businesses who have been hard hit by the pandemic," Schembri said.
"These schemes are primarily addressed to help businesses run by people who took a risk to better the lives of their families and whose livelihood depends on it," he added. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars)
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