SMEs in Northwestern Bulgaria to be Granted EU Funds with Priority

Finance | April 6, 2015, Monday // 15:55|  views

Bulgarian Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski. Photo: BGNES

The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Northwestern Bulgaria will be granted EU funds with priority when applying with projects for improving their production capacity.

This was announced by Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski on Monday during a presentation of the application procedure for the new Innovations and Competitiveness Operational Programme.

The total amount of financial aid is EUR 150 M, while the maximum amount of aid is between 35 % and 70 %, depending on the category of the firm and the region, daily Dnevnik reports.

Companies from the Southwestern region will receive lower share of aid – up to 35 % for medium-sized and up to 45 % for micro and small enterprises.

The figures for the remaining five regions are respectively: up to 60 % for medium-sized enterprises and up to 70 % for micro and small enterprises.

Projects, which are executed on the territory of the Northwestern region will also have priority and will be granted five additional points as previously promised.

Those who had applied and had been awarded funds under the previous programme period, will be able to apply again, but will be granted less points depending on the number of completed projects.

Lukarski explained that the idea was to support a broader range of SMEs as well as first-time applicants.
At the same time, the aim was to encourage firms to develop sustainable business rather than relying solely on EU grants.

The deadline for companies to submit their remarks and commentaries on the application procedure is April 20.

It is expected that that the procedure will be launched a week after the expiration of the April 20 deadline.

For the first time the application for improvement of production capacity of SMEs provides quantitatively measurable criteria rather than qualitative, which ensures impartiality and objectivity.



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Tags: Bulgaria, EU, economy, SMEs, bozhidar lukarski, innovation, Competitiveness, operational programme, aid


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