ECONOMY

Subsidies in the pipeline for new companies

Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis announced on Monday subsidies for as many as 20,000 new enterprises in the form up to 10,000 euros, provided they do not make any layoffs.

Speaking at a press conference in Athens, Chrysochoidis specified that the disbursement to companies that started up in the last five years will begin in September, and is aimed at pulling the brakes on the barrage of layoffs in the private sector.

The total cost of these subsidies will amount to 200 million euros and will come from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).

The program is planned in such a way as to fund 50 percent of the salary costs and social security contributions of the enterprises that qualify.

The criteria, besides the companies having being set up in the last five years, are the employment of one or more people and their involvement in the sectors of manufacturing, the ?green economy,? construction, transport, logistics and high added-value services. They must also have paid their tax and social security contributions in full and must not have received any subsidies of over 200,000 euros in the last three years.

To avoid delays in the process and bolster transparency, the minister announced that all applications will be submitted electronically, which will allow interested entrepreneurs to know immediately whether they qualify for the program or not.

On Wednesday Chrysochoidis will announce special projects for the support of export companies, which will concern letters of guarantee and working capital, according to sources. In the next two weeks he will also be visiting Brussels to negotiate the revision of the NSRF with the European Commission.