ECONOMY

SME interest in subsidies beats forecast

The Development Ministry announced on Friday that a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises have expressed interest in the European Union-funded program for their support.

A total of 23,045 applications had been submitted electronically by last Thursday, adding up to 3.7 billion euros, applying for subsidies totaling 1.5 billion euros, against a disposable budget of 456 million euros. This means that demand was over three times higher than expected.

The ministry stated that this illustrates the improvement in the economic sentiment in the market and the increasing business confidence in the sectors of manufacturing, tourism and commerce and services that the program concerns. Subsidy rates reach as high as 60 percent, depending on the region and size of each company.