Maltese businesses get a boost with the help of Malta Development Bank

Kenneth Cassar owns a company that specialises in special effects for major American films and has recently got a boost through the Malta Development Bank scheme allowing him to start a larger and better business. Aaron Axiaq also took advantage of this scheme and opened five childcare centres around Malta.

These are two out of 96 projects that were carried out in the last year and a half with the support of the loan guarantee scheme given by the Malta Development Bank, with an investment of around € 30 million. Bank Chairman Josef Bonnici said the scheme was helping businesses not only to survive the pandemic, but also to grow and be innovative.

Kenneth Cassar’s company has worked on special effects in several films made in the Maltese islands, including Gladiator, Troy and World War Z.

Through the support he received from the Malta Development Bank, Mr Cassar was able to continue investing in his business, which in addition to offering services to blockbusters coming to Malta, also works on major films around the world. While showing us around the new workshop that has just been completed with an investment of almost half a million Euros, he explained how with the support of the loan guarantee scheme of the Malta Development Bank, with advantageous interest rates and an 80% guarantee on the loan, Mr Cassar was able to do what he could not do on his own.

“It saved me and allowed me to continue working because as it was I could not continue, I was working from a small place that was not suitable, it helped me grow but I could not continue working there. As soon as these schemes became available I applied for them, as you can see, I can consider this a state of the art workshop in the field of special effects. ”

Like Kenneth Cassar, Aaron Axiaq also expanded his business, opening his fifth child care centre. He told Television Malta that with the support he received from the investment scheme which is mediated by the Bank of Valletta, which is a partner of the Malta Development Bank in the implementation of SME Invest, he was able to open more child care centres than he would have opened with business loan rates that are normally offered.

“It came with advantageous interest rates and at the same time with an 80% investment guarantee per se. That meant we were able to make more investment in this sector as well.”

Mr Axiaq added that with easier access to finance, which among other things would reduce the amount needed to do business, in the coming months will continue to invest in new projects in the childcare sector.

In a statement, the Malta Development Bank said that the scheme supports an investment of up to € 750,000 at advantageous interest rates and provides a guarantee of 80% on the amount borrowed, and in the last year and a half since it was set up it has helped all kinds of business.

The Bank’s Chairman, Professor Josef Bonnici, expressed his satisfaction with the success of the scheme and said that it was very encouraging that the Bank could help businesses not only survive the pandemic, but also to grow and be innovative in their products and services.