Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes Initiative launched
PRESS RELEASE BY PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR EU PRESIDENCY 2017 AND EU FUNDS
The Startup Investment Grant Scheme and SME Growth Grant Scheme
Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes Initiative – valued at over €51M - aimed at supporting Enterprises, maximising their investment and growth potential, to create further employment opportunities and render them more competitive.
The Ministry for European Affairs and Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto, through the Parliamentary Secretariat for the EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds is launching the Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes Initiative.
The private sector is the backbone of Malta’s economic development. Government is committed at securing investment and growth opportunities for local enterprises, whilst providing more space and flexibility for them to flourish. The development of a more business friendly environment contributes towards ensuring that the Maltese Economy is built on solid and competitive businesses, which in turn, will make the country more resilient to market challenges.
In sustaining this commitment to locally based enterprises, the Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes Initiative - with a budget of €51 million from the European Regional Development Fund 2014 -2020 - of which €40.8 million are being made available from European Union funds and €10.2 million from national funds – is an initiative that seeks to support enterprises through a number of aid schemes in the form of non-repayable grants.
These Grant Schemes address a number of priorities under Operational Programme I Cohesion Policy 2014 – 2020 - ‘Fostering a competitive and sustainable economy to meet our challenges’ - and fall under three main priority axis mainly: Investing in research, technological development and innovation (PA1), Consolidating Investment within the ICT sector (PA2) and Enhancing Malta’s competitiveness through investment in SMEs (PA3)
The Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes initiative will assist enterprises across the board to maximise their investment and growth potential, to create further employment opportunities and render them more competitive.
This initiative foresees a total of €20 million aimed at assisting enterprises in investing in research, technological development and innovation; €26 million in support to enterprises undertaking investment projects aimed at rendering them more competitive and €5million for investment in e-Commerce.
The first two schemes being launched under this initiative are the SME Growth Grant Scheme with an allocation of €8 million and the Start-up Investment Grant Scheme with an allocation of €7 million. Around 90 enterprises are expected to benefit from these two schemes.
The SME Growth Grant Scheme shall seek to assist SMEs to respond to market demands by part-financing eligible expenditure on productive investment required in the implementation of their growth strategies related to the extension of the capacity of an existing establishment, or the setting up of a new establishment. The first call under this scheme has a budget of €1.6 million. Under this scheme enterprises may receive assistance up to a maximum grant value of €500,000 with an aid intensity on eligible expenditure of 35% for micro and small enterprises and 25% for medium enterprises.
As part of the normal dynamics of a healthy economy, only 50% of businesses survive five years after their inception. In this context, the initiative aims also to address start-ups. By their very nature, through their novelty start-ups offer just as many challenges and risks as they do rewards and opportunities. This together with the potential welfare gains to the economy that can accrue from nurturing an environment that supports start-ups, further instigates the need for tangible assistance to start-ups at an early stage. The Start-up Investment Grant Scheme is aimed at providing assistance to micro and small enterprises established for less than three years in their productive investment by part-financing 50% of eligible expenditure with a maximum grant value of €300,000. The first call has a budget allocation of €1.4 million.
The Grant Schemes under this initiative will be administered and managed by the Measures and Support Division within the Ministry for European Affairs and Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto.
During the past months the Division embarked on a number of initiatives with a view to ensure that the Grant Schemes under this initiative are designed in line with the Government’s commitment to reduce bureaucracy to minimise administrative burdens. This mainly through the development of an online application form which includes the facility of uploading supporting documentation required with the application, whilst ensuring that applicants are not requested to provide documentation and information that the Division already has access to, such as annual accounts submitted at the Registry of Companies.
Applications for project proposals under the first two schemes will be received as from Wednesday 13 July 2016 up to noon of Friday 30 September 2016.