“The sucess of our businesses also means success for our workers, for our youth and, most of all, for our families.”
This was stated by the Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi following the signing of an agreement together with the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund to allocate more funds to the ‘SME Initiative’, which will provide further assistance to Small and Medium Enterprises in the form of loans.
The SMEi consists of a financial instrument financed with European funds to serve as a guarantee that allows banks to take greater “risks” and enables them to offer loans to SMEs with a reduction in collateral requirements, and with lower interest rates.
Parliamentary Secretary Zrinzo Azzopardi stated that; “by allocating additional funds towards the SME Initiative Financial Instrument, we build on the government’s commitment towards supporting our businesses. Taking into consideration the current circumstances, the Maltese Government has placed a lot of effort in ensuring a continuous stream of support to enterprises in order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Maltese SMEs.”
It is for this reason that a decision was taken to top up the allocation towards this instrument with yet another €7 million in order to make available circa an additional €29 million of easily accessible loans with advantageous conditions by the end of this year. This top-up to the SMEi original allocation will result in a total loan portfolio amounting to €118 million, which can also be used as working capital relief.
He concluded by saying that “This will serve as an opportunity for our businesses to invest and grow even during this time, so that when we start to recover after COVID-19, our enterprises will be able to continue from where they left off and come out stronger.”