RO Govt. prepares to get more EU funds for SME grants schemes
Romania’s Government is preparing to allot an extra EUR 358 million from EU and state funds to finance its grants schemes for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) launched after the break of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Startupcafe.ro reported.
With these new funds, the Economy Ministry should complete the payments for working capital grants (Measure 2) and restart the process of allotting investment grants (Measure 3).
The two schemes were launched in the autumn of 2020, along with another one that consisted in microgrants for small enterprises.
However, the Government didn’t have enough financial resources to complete the program after it increased the budget for working capital grants due to high demand.
The initial budget only covered payments for about 16,850 firms that applied for working capital grants leaving about 3,000 companies to wait for the new funds.
Meanwhile, there were no funds left for the investment grants scheme, which allows SMEs to get up to EUR 200,000 for new investments.
The Government decided to start over the selection process as the applications received in the initial round were mostly aimed at real estate investments.
Over 27,000 companies applied for investment grants totaling over EUR 3 bln, or more than six times the announced budget of EUR 500 mln.
Now, the scheme could get a budget of EUR 358 mln and the criteria for awarding the funds will be revised.
(Photo: Marian Vejcik/ Dreamstime)