On 27th August 2020, Malta Enterprise Corporation launched the COVID-19 Rent and Electricity Refund Incentive. The goal of this incentive is to support the operating expenditure of businesses that had to cease or limit their operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A budget of EUR 35 million has been allocated to support over 16,000 businesses. This incentive runs from the date of its approval to no later than 31st December 2020. Details surrounding this incentive are discussed below.
Eligibility: All businesses benefitting from the COVID Wage Supplement are eligible.
Rental Costs: To claim rental costs businesses must be licensed and renting premises from third parties specifically for the purpose of carrying out economic activities. Further, the rent agreement must have been signed before 9th March 2020. If the rental agreement was active prior to 9th March 2020, then renewals of rental agreements signed after 9th March will be considered eligible
Businesses may claim rental costs of up to €7,500 of annual rent on up to five (5) rental agreements. Details surrounding eligibility and maximum are outlined in the chart below.
Electricity Costs: Eligible businesses will receive reimbursement of 50% of the electricity cost covering any period in July, August, and September 2020. However, this is subject to a capping depending on: (1) the number of shops (outlets) and (2) the number of employees. Businesses with one outlet may claim up to €1,500. Whereas, businesses with multiple outlets, having more than one electricity bill, may claim up to €7,500. Details surrounding eligibility and the capping are outlined in the chart below.
It is important to note two things considering the chart above. First, internal accounts will be considered where retail complexes exist that have only one electricity meter registered with ARMS, but this serves multiple business tenants and the electricity cost is allocated through an internal system among such tenants. Second, in the case where there are more accounts than employees, the eligible capping will only apply to the number of employees. For example, in the case where there are five electricity accounts and only one employee, the eligible capping is that of EUR 1,500.
Starting the Application Process: Applications may be submitted pursuant to a call for applications through an online submission. Note, that applications for support related to rent and electricity will be handled through different channels.
1) Applications for a Grant to Cover Rent of business premises: Malta Enterprise will be publishing a call which will be open for a specific number of weeks during which beneficiaries will be required to submit their application and related documentation. Following the submission, the applications will be processed, and payment will be disbursed in by the end of 2020.
2) Applications for a Grant to Cover Electricity Costs incurred in July, August, and September 2020: Malta Enterprise will be publishing a call for businesses to enrol in the scheme. Applicants will have to submit their last energy bill and will receive a voucher to claim refunds
Further Information: Further information pertaining to this incentive may be obtained from the following link: https://covid19.maltaenterprise.com/electricity-bill-refund.