Ailing businesses to tap EU funding to heal wounds

Ailing businesses to tap EU funding to heal wounds

Bulgarian companies that have suffered the impact of the economic downturn will be invited to dip into EUR 1 million under the Competitiveness operational programme to come out of the doldrums.

Applications can be submitted until November 15.

The monies will be dished out for consultancy services to be provided to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to draw up restructuring plans, development strategies, financial analyses and other services. Each small company will be eligible for financing ranging between BGN 18,000 and BGN 90,000. The grants cover up to 90% of the project price tag, with the balance to be provided by the beneficiary.

The projects should be assessed and contracts inked by the end of the year when the temporary measure will expire. Implementation is scheduled for 2011.

Eligible for the grants are SMEs in the industrial and services sectors registered in Bulgaria, excluding branches of foreign businesses. To be able to qualify, companies need to have used up more than half of their registered capital, have lost more than a quarter of it, or have met the criteria for an insolvency procedure during the 12 months preceding the submission of application.

Projects can be submitted in the regional offices of the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA) in Blagoevgrad, Bourgas, Varna, Vratsa, Pleven, Plovdiv, Rousse, Sofia, Stara Zagora and Veliko Tarnovo.

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