As of early 2022, small and medium-sized enterprises will start benefiting from grants from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) that are set to top 1.76 billion euros. That concerns investment seen covering a broad range of needs, from energy upgrades to buildings, to transitioning to the digital era with online sales and modern tills, and from the restructuring of agriculture to the promotion of health tourism.
Alternate Finance Minister Thodoros Skylakakis told Parliament the RRF’s loans, mainly for larger enterprises, are starting to be disbursed, with the first €1.5 billion going out by the end of this year.
The main programs for grants to SMEs are the following:
– Business energy upgrades: In the first five months of 2022 the state will invite proposals for investments totaling €957.5 million, of which €450 million will be covered by the RRF. Eligible plans include energy upgrades for buildings and production lines, the installation of new heating and cooling systems, product distribution systems and the purchase of electric vehicles.
– Digital transformation: The invitation for projects totaling €450 million will start in the first quarter of next year. Investments will focus on online payments and sales, industrial data platforms and the upgrading of tills and card terminals.
– Economic transformation of the agricultural sector: The state will invite proposals in the first couple of months of 2022, handing out €520 million to subsidize innovation and green transition in agricultural product processing, the modernization of the primary sector, agritourism, farming product restructuring and genetic improvement of livestock.
– Tourism development: A sum of €260 million will be disbursed, with €130 million destined for the improvement of tourism ports. Another €46 million is set aside for mountain tourism, €23 million for health tourism, €18 million for diving and underwater tourism, €14 million for agritourism and gastronomy, another €14 million for accessible beaches, and €15 million for destination management measures.
– Smart manufacturing: The total budget for this program comes to an estimated €150 million, with the participation of the RRF at €75 million. Its objective is the strengthening of technology infrastructure and the upgrade of SMEs’ equipment.