The Malta Development Bank and bank of Valletta, in collaboration with the Gozo Business Chamber, organised a seminar, entitled ‘Financing Gozitan business to prosper’, at the Institute of Tourism Studies in Qala.
On behalf of Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana, Christian Vella Masini opened the seminar where he highlighted recent developments in the field of connectivity and economic growth. He said easier access to finance was necessary to further enhance investment and job creation in Gozo.
The ministry was going through a further study and the eventual implementation process relating to the development of well-managed business incubators and business accelerator programmes in Gozo, he said.
MDB Chief Business Development Officer Joseph Darmanin and Chief Credit Business Officer Maria Xuereb gave a presentation on MDB guarantee facilities, highlighting the role of MDB in the Maltese economy. They explained how both schemes fit within the remit of the MDB and how the family business scheme enabled family businesses to transfer their business and that it complements the fiscal incentives to support such transfers, thereby ensuring continuity, stability and future growth.
BOV Executive SME Finance Alfred Buhagiar spoke about the BOV SME Invest and the Family Business Success Initiatives. He gave details and practical examples on how such guarantees eased access to finance for SMEs. He said the BOV SME Invest was aimed specifically at SMEs, including start-ups, venturing into new business sectors and traditional SMEs who wanted to invest in revamping or strengthening their current business model.
Gozo Business Chamber president Joseph Borg concluded the seminar. He highlighted the difficulties faced by Gozitan SMEs. Given the fact that access to finance schemes was provided under the De Minimis framework, special incentives for Gozitan-based SMEs should be formulated, he said.