Two ad­di­tional schemes as part of the Busi­ness En­hance ERDF Grant Schemes Ini­tia­tive

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for the EU Pres­i­dency 2017 and EU Funds Ian Borg an­nounced the launch of a fur­ther two schemes un­der the Busi­ness En­hance ERDF Grant Schemes ini­tia­tive.

These two grant schemes ad­dress ar­eas un­der Pri­or­ity Axis 3, ‘En­hanc­ing Malta’s com­pet­i­tive­ness through in­vest­ment in SMEs’ of Op­er­a­tional Programme I Co­he­sion Pol­icy 2014-2020 ‘Fos­ter­ing a com­pet­i­tive and sus­tain­able econ­omy to meet our chal­lenges’.

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary Borg said that the SME Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and In­no­va­tion Grant Scheme, with an al­lo­ca­tion of €8m, and the SME In­ter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion Grant Scheme, with an al­lo­ca­tion of €2m, will be fur­ther as­sist­ing enterprises to max­imise their in­vest­ment and growth po­ten­tial, to cre­ate fur­ther em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, and to make them more com­pet­i­tive.

About 250 mi­cro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises are ex­pected to ben­e­fit from these two schemes, Ian Borg said.

These two lat­est schemes fol­low in the foot­steps of the SME Growth Grant Scheme that had an al­lo­ca­tion of €8 mil­lion, and the Start-up In­vest­ment Grant Scheme that had an al­lo­ca­tion of €7 mil­lion.

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary Borg ex­plained that the sur­vival and growth po­ten­tial of an en­ter­prise de­pends on the ca­pa­bil­ity to un­der­take timely in­ter­ven­tions to di­ver­sify or to im­ple­ment a change in its pro­cesses.

The SME Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and In­no­va­tion Grant Scheme will as­sist SMEs through non-re­payable grants to part-fi­nance in­vest­ment to de­velop fo­cused strate­gies, to im­ple­ment an in­vest­ment in favour of di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, or to­wards in­vest­ment that will bring sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved and ad­vanced prod­ucts/ser­vices in ad­di­tion to those al­ready of­fered by the un­der­tak­ing. The an­nual in­dica­tive bud­get al­lo­ca­tion for this scheme is €1.6 mil­lion. Un­der this scheme enterprises may re­ceive as­sis­tance up to a max­i­mum grant value of €200,000 with aid in­ten­sity on el­i­gi­ble ex­pen­di­ture of 50%.

On the other hand, the SME In­ter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion Grant Scheme is in­tended to fa­cil­i­tate the process to­wards the in­ter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion of SMEs through ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion at In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness Pro­mo­tion Fairs by pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance to mi­cro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises by part-fi­nanc­ing 50% of el­i­gi­ble ex­pen­di­ture with a max­i­mum grant value of €10,000. The an­nual in­dica­tive bud­get al­lo­ca­tion for this scheme is €400,000.

These iden­ti­fied schemes will be man­aged on a de­mand-driven ba­sis through an open rolling-call and will be open to re­ceive project pro­pos­als as from Mon­day, 10 Oc­to­ber 2016.

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary Ian Borg praised the in­cen­tives un­der the Busi­ness En­hance ERDF Grant Schemes which are man­aged by the Mea­sures and Sup­port Divi­sion within the Min­istry for Euro­pean Af­fairs and Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Elec­toral Man­i­festo, and said that he was con­fi­dent that po­ten­tial ben­e­fi­cia­ries will be step­ping for­ward to ben­e­fit and to ex­pand their busi­ness.

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