Some 25,000 businesses will receive vouchers the government will be issuing to all residents from next week to boost domestic demand post pandemic lockdown, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said on Tuesday.

The system will operate through an app used by the businesses on their smartphone or tablet.

How the vouchers will work

Vouchers will feature a QR code which businesses can scan to confirm their validity. Business owners will receive the funds received through vouchers into their accounts on the same day. 

Businesses will also have to scan VAT receipts of the purchases made and must retain the vouchers used by the clients, even though the system will not allow vouchers to be used more than once.   

Those with more than one business will be able to register under different accounts. 

Schembri explained that as of Wednesday, businesses will start receiving registered letters informing them of their eligibility.

They will also receive an information leaflet and a notice of registration asking them to submit the required information (such as credit card details). Once that is done, they will receive an email with an app activation code linked to their VAT number.

“The system will be very easy to operate. We want to assist businesses not give them more red tape,” Schembri said.

Vouchers valid until September

Clients will not be required to do anything other than hand in their vouchers. They can use more than one voucher at the same time but cannot use any voucher for a purchase of less than €20.

Schembri said the vouchers will start being distributed next week and will remain valid till the end of September.

All residents of Malta will receive five vouchers of €20 each. Four can be used in hotels, bars, restaurants and other establishments licensed by the tourism authorities (such as diving schools) while the remaining voucher has to be used in shops which were closed during the COVID-19 crisis.

The initiative will cost the government €45 million.

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