Companies looking at EUR 660m in development incentives in 2021

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Ljubljana – The Economy Ministry has drafted a programme for development incentives for 2021, worth a total of EUR 660 million, including EUR 248 million in grants. The priorities of the programme include providing liquidity to companies and assistance in green and digital transition for higher added value.

Announcing the programme, the ministry said the data on the impact of the seventh coronavirus legislative packages in last year showed that the Slovenian economy was robust and that a major part of companies had remained in good shape for fast recovery.

“However, we observe the situation and trends in small and medium-sized enterprises with concern, especially in the field of services,” the ministry said, adding that the unemployment trends was also concerning.

As liquidity will be a challenge for many SMEs this year, this will be one of the priorities, while in addition to direct measures provided by the ministry, companies will also be able to get aid from the Enterprise Fund, Regional Development Fund, SPIRIT agency, Slovenian Tourist Board and SID Banka.

The Enterprise Fund will provide guarantees to micro, small and medium-sized companies for loans with maturity of up to 10 years and moratorium of up to two years, and subsidise interest rates.

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The ministry said guarantees would be intended for the acquisition of operating current assets for wages and costs of material, services and inventories, as well as for investments in new technological equipment, machinery, green energy and other investments.

The fund will provide guarantees for loans amounting to between EUR 5,000 and EUR 50,000, and it will also provide this year vouchers or simple incentives in the form of grants of up to EUR 9,999 intended for various business services.

This year, the fund is expected to provide a total of EUR 210 million in incentives for 5,200 SMEs, and the invested funds are expected to trigger an additional EUR 352 million of new investments.

The SPIRIT investment promotion agency will implement numerous new measures for the economic recovery in 2021. The hospitality and tourism industry is expected to be provided with EUR 36.2 million in liquidity funds in the first quarter.

Also to be available to companies are incentives for green transition to circular, low-carbon and climate-resilient economy, with EUR 5 million from the Climate Fund to be made available in the first quarter through a public call for applications.

Researchers will be able to use EU funds vouchers from the the cohesion tool REACT-EU. At first, the programme will provide EUR 7 million in assistance, followed by other measures, which are yet to be determined, the ministry said.

A public call for applications for co-funding of individual appearances of companies in international fairs abroad until 2022 is also available. EUR 900,000 in funds will be distributed to selected applicants in two rounds in May and September.

EUR 1.1 million will be available for marketing of brands on foreign markets by means of showrooms, and EUR 2.3 million will be available in a public call for applications for establishing or upgrading e-business of SMEs.

Companies may also apply for funds for the promotion of sustainable business strategy transformation and development of new business models for greater inclusion in global value chains as part of a public call for applications worth EUR 2.5 million.

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