Regional economic responses of SCALE UP partners on the COVID-19 pandemic 

As the world was paralyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, nations had to figure out ways to make sure the situation will not worsen. This meant sacrifices had to be made including the closure of non-essential businesses for several weeks to reinforce social distancing in the hopes of reducing the chances of virus transmission. While these precautions were taken, governments knew they had to come up with economic plans to help businesses recover and stay afloat until things go back to normal.

Since the Scale Up project involves several regions from various EU countries working together to help SMEs, we compiled a list of the economic responses being taken by the partners of the consortium. Below are the economic responses in three of our partner regions. These solutions are available to aid entrepreneurs and SMEs in their regions.  

Innovation vouchers for digital development in the Region of Murcia 

In the Region of Murcia, up to €27 million has been assigned to the financing of several industrial sectors, especially those regarding innovation and technology as well as social economy. To give an idea, 7 million of this will be used to co-invest in financial instruments and the growth of entrepreneurs; 2.7 million will fund issues such as internationalisation, training, and innovation. One relevant measure, managed by the RDA INFO Murcia is the “cheque de innovación COVID”, an innovation voucher for boosting the hiring of advanced assessments services and technical assistance, plus the implementation of teleworking. Other measures include the rescheduling of loans from the Regional Public Institute of Credit. 

Funding opportunities in the state of Northern Hesse  

In the region of Hessen, several loan packages and liquidity aid are available for entrepreneurs and SMEs. For instance, small and medium-sized companies in the commercial economy (including commercial social enterprises with the intention of making a profit) and freelancers as well as market-operating social enterprises in the legal form of a GmbH can receive loans between €5,000 and €200,000, which are increased by the house bank by at least 20%. No bank collateral is required for this promotional loan. The Hessen Economic and Infrastructure Bank (WIBank) and the Bürgschaftsbank Hessen also support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular with investments and operating resources as well as other loan options.

For more information: 

Region of Attica- Greek national economic response  

For our partners in the region of Attica, the Greek government has passed national measures including extended deadlines for VAT and social security payments by four months for companies which have had to shut for 10 days or longer due to the pandemic. Such businesses can also expect a 40% reduction in their rent for March and April, while the affected landlords will in turn have their tax liabilities frozen for 4 months. The same 4-month suspension of taxes also applies to all self-employed workers. Employees of struggling companies who see their contracts suspended are due to receive payments from the authorities of €800, as well as having their insurance and health contributions covered by them. Meanwhile, loan providers are expected to offer suspensions of loan installment payments. 

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