Malta’s private schools, universities, and language schools have now been added to the €800 benefit given to employees and self-employed people most impacted by COVID-19 closures after more businesses and industries were added to the list, Lovin Malta can reveal.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Economy Ministry Silvio Schembri also revealed that following discussions with Malta Enterprise, the film industry, which boomed in recent years, will also form part of the scheme. According to Film Commissioner Johann Grech, the sector is set to lose around €50 Million in foreign production income during the summer.
Local full-time self-employed photographers will also benefit from the COVID-19 wage benefit, with strict directives on public events creating a significant dent in their income.
The conventions sector will also be addressed, affecting around 400 employees working with more than 35 companies on the island.
The additions, which also includes other educational activities, were made following discussions with several stakeholders, Malta Enterprise, and the Economy Ministry.
Businesses who do not qualify because they are not listed in Annex A but are being negatively affected by the outbreak can still apply. They will need to give Malta Enterprise details on their current situation, and each will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Schembri said with the latest additions, the government measures were now “ fully in place and available for effective direct support to businesses and self-employed”.
Schembri explained that during this crucial juncture, the government had to be sensitive to the real needs of economic operators, especially in sectors where a one size fits all policy cannot be applied.
“Our priority remains that of safeguarding as many jobs as possible, keep monitoring the situation and where needed, introduce further economic measures,” he said.
Changes, he explained, will continue and will be altered according to how the situation will develop.
Minister for Tourism Julia Farrugia Portelli, who assisted in discussions with FELTOM, language schools, several DMCs, divers and film producers9, said that the new benefits will help safeguard crucial parts of the sector.
Businesses and self-employed can now apply online on covid19.maltaenterprise.com. All you need to do is put in your VAT number and follow the directions. The applications will remain open, and there is no deadline.
With calls flooding the Business First helpline 144, those interested are encouraged to call later on this week.