European RDAs good practices

Most of the European Regional Development Agencies have implemented urgent measures to provide an economic response following the outbreak of COVID19Please find below some examples of initiatives that are providing impact. This compilation is an inspiration for regional economic development practitioners that are designing effective support measures.

ACCIÓ: virtual desk for general inquiries

The Catalonian RDA ACCIÓ has initiated several measures to ease the difficulties companies face. It has reinforced its Virtual Desk for general inquiries with the possibility of organising immediate teleconferences to solve complex questions. Alongside this, an external protocol document has been published to advise businesses on how to proceed to minimise the virus’ negative effects. ACCIÓ has also implemented a financial programme with several support lines (e.g. support for self-employed workers). More information.

Collaborative platform developed with the involvement of ADRAL

Through OPTA – an organisation set up to support society in the pandemic, with the participation of ADRAL  a collaborative platform has been developed aiming to stimulate the consumption of products and services from companies located in the Portuguese region of Alentejo as well as boosting employment creation since it includes a section for job and volunteering offers. Additionally, this initiative provides tailor-made assistance to access and discover COVID-related measures as well as a support network for companies, workers, and consumers. Visit the following links for more information or access the OPTA platform (both in Portuguese).

ACIISI: Assessment to every sector in society

The regional government, through its Economy, Knowledge, and Employment department, has enabled a specialised assessment service for companies, self-employed workers, and public institutions. They did so by their Red CIDE managed by the RDA ACIISI. Furthermore, measures regarding taxes obligations have also been initiated. For instance, payment deadlines have been extended, thus injecting €600 million in the insular region. More information.

ADER: rapid action vouchers for the prevention of viral spreading

In the region of La Rioja, through the RDA ADER, several kinds of measures have been implemented to maintain industrial activity and provide employers and workers with answers to their inquiries. Frequently Asked Questions webpages have been set up to answer requests those about Industry and SMEs or Commerce. A call for vouchers for immediate actions has been open for activities related to coronavirus prevention measures (disinfection, smart-work consultation, etc.). Also, various calls for loans have been approved, such as FII Call for loans or financial leasing contracts that obtain a financial guarantee from a Reciprocal Guarantee Society, and Call for FIC, for loans intended to support working capital that obtain a financial guarantee from a Reciprocal Guarantee Society.

Agencia IDEA: Digital transformation projects for SMEs

In Andalucía, the measures taken cover a wide range, aiming to facilitate the continuity of industrial activity. The government will assign a subsidy to the Andalusian mutual guarantee society, so it can endorse financial operations established by companies and businesses. The RDA IDEA has up to €22 million at its disposal in the form of a funding line for digital transformation projects for SMEs so they can implement the necessary changes to continue their activities remotely. Also, a telematic urgent procedure or lay-off submission has been enabled, valid only for force majeure cases. More information.

Agencia IDEA: PLAnd COVID-19 platform

The Andalusian government has launched a platform on R&I and production which identifies and gathers all initiatives for dealing with the ongoing health crisis and promoting knowledge transfer between the different agents of the Andalusian knowledge system. It facilitates efficiency, speed, and effectiveness in research, innovation, and production. The ‘PLAnd COVID-19’ platform, keeps up to date the needs for sanitary material and equipment, as well as for the raw materials for producing them. A total of 221 solutions have already been proposed to the Andalusian Health Service by companies (186), research centres (7), research groups (14), technology centres, (2) and other entities (12). More information (in Spanish).

Platform to link industrial initiatives to meet medical needs

In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France, the local regional development agency has developed a Platform to link industrial initiatives. Solution providers, experts and applicants can collaborate through this platform to provide others with in-demand products: hydroalcoholic gel, masks, personal protective equipment, respirators, and so on. The platform is a tool where one can identify those enterprises capable of helping by meeting the urgent medical needs. This RDA organizes the platform and gives daily updates on the state of the different medical products. There are more than 600 enrolled actors and over 800 meeting requests. More information (in French). 

Helping local SMEs to tackle COVID-19

The North East Romanian Regional Development Agency is providing useful, up-to-date information on support measures offered by the Romanian government and other international institutions such as the European Commission to tackle the effects of Covid-19 pandemic and reduce its negative effects on local businesses. This Business & Covid-19 section includes information on financing programmes, data on tax exemptions, unemployment benefit, employee protection, the current capital, and much more. More information (in Romanian).

ADR Centru mobilises support for its local companies

ADR Centru has informed that the National Management Authority for the Regional Operational Programme has extended the project submission period for the call for enterprises POR/2019/9/9.1/1/Enterprises, (priority axis 9) until 31st of July. The Managing Authority for Regional Operational Programme is the Ministry of Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds. Additionally, the agency issues a monthly newsletter with different opportunities for SMEs, from information on measures undertaken by the national government to support employees and employers, to business opportunities, funding opportunities for SMEs. With the support of Enterprise Europe Network, ADR Centru is part of the campaign  #EENCanHelp, as part of the  actions of the agency to intensify the support to SMEs, in order to make the companies  aware of the  different opportunities they can rely on in order to overcome the crisis

Innovation vouchers for Czech SMEs

The Czech Business and Innovation Agency (API) has launched a call for support via grants of up to CZK 999 999 (€36 609) and the purchase of consulting, expert, and support services in the field of R&I. The call will be open until the end of 2020. It supports the activities of SMEs to combat and prevent Covid-19. Such activities should be aimed at the following: patient care tools and equipment for patients dependent on care services, protective equipment for healthcare workers and the public, and medicinal products for the prevention and improvement of illnesses, among other things. More information.

Covid-19 and the quality of air in the Po valley

At 11:30 on Friday the 19th of June, the Youtube channel of the LIFE project Prepair will host the presentation of the results of their preliminary study on the effects of the Covid19 measures on the atmospheric emissions and on the quality of the air in the Po valley. This study has been developed by the consortium of Prepairin which the Emilia-Romagna region is the lead partner and EURADA member ART-ER is the communication partner. More information (in Italian).

Scenarios for energy after the virus: an analysis from ART-ER

ART-ER, the Regional Development Agency of the Emilia-Romagna region, has published an analysis of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on energy consumption, including comparisons with previous economic crises (the aftermath of World War II, the ‘70s oil crisis, and the financial crisis of 2007–08). The document, available in Italian, seeks to contribute to the scientific debate on the economic and energy transformations expected due to today’s events. More information (in Italian)

Supporting local SMEs in Emilia-Romagna

The region of Emilia-Romagna has introduced a wide range of measures to support the local economy, including a moratorium on loans granted to companies, the provision of interest-free loans to SMEs, and the disbursement of the region’s share of the redundancy fund established at the national level, totalling an amount of €110 million. EURADA member ART-ER has created a section on their website gathering relevant information concerning industrial reconversion, financing measures and tools, and innovative security and solutions for local SMEs during the crisis. More information (in Italian).

Neighbours helping neighbours

ARRSA – the Regional Development Agency of Bielsko-Biała – has established a platform for local entrepreneurs and organisations to make offers of help to and seek help from each other. Among others, hospitals, GPs’ clinics, health centres, and NGOs will be able to make and take up offers of services, either for free or for a reduced price. Current propositions on the site include therapy, assistance with shopping, antibacterial sterilisation services, and letting of office space. More information (in Polish).

BDI: Entreprises Unies

Since the 24th of March, Bretagne Développement Innovation (BDI) has hosted the cooperation platform Entreprises Unies on its website. This was created at the request of the Region of Brittany. It puts businesses in touch with each other or with health actors by matching up needs and those who can meet them. It has established over 200 agreements. Intermediation is at the heart of this system and mobilises the Innovation Service of the Region, the teams of BDI, Biotech Santé Bretagne, and the Regional Health Agency. More information (in French).

An online service for local entrepreneurs

Sole entrepreneurs of ten municipalities in North Karelia (Finland) can apply for financing of €2000 during the economic slowdown caused by Covid-19. Business Joensuu, the Regional Development Agency of the region and a member of EURADA, has provided a web section where eligible sole entrepreneurs can fill out a form to apply for the financing. They have provided an FAQ with all relevant information on this local support measure. More information.

Business Emergency Services

Business Joensuu is supporting companies established in the Joensuu region of Finland in different ways during the COVID-19 crisis. It holds webinars to share advice from legal professionals and has opened a helpline for companies facing new economic challenges, for them to ask Business Joensuu about the funding and support tools put in place by national and local authorities. More information (in English).

Castilla La Mancha: guidelines established to minimise the impact of the virus’ strike

In the region of Castilla La Mancha, the regional government is working on the production of a guide which gathers several measures to relieve the impact of COVID-19 on the regional business network. Furthermore, a direct channel of communication, called User Support Service, has been implemented in order to give answers to business and work-related inquiries regarding the new circumstances, such as changes in regulations and measures taken as a response to the crisis. Different exceptional financial measures have also been approved to reinforce the industrial network in the region. More information (in Spanish).

Madrid: Impulsa Programme aimed at the sustainability of industrial activities

In the Community of Madrid, the Impulsa Programme has been launched, targeting self-employed workers experiencing economic difficulties. This is a direct concession subsidy procedure that will help economic activity to be maintained. Also, all those self-employed workers affected by the virus in any way, are exempt from paying their activity fee. Unemployment allowances will be faster thanks to the urgent procedure approved by the regional government. Besides, practical information for workers, companies, and self-employed workers facing COVID-19 has been gathered here.

Telematic and cybersecurity support service provided to SMEs

A new joint initiative between AEI CIBERSEGURIDAD (National Cybersecurity Cluster), AETICAL (Regional ICT Association) and ICE (Institute for Business Competitiveness of Castilla y León) was recently launched with the aim of providing a support service to all SMEs in the region of Castilla y León taking the necessary steps to implement smartworking and cybersecurity solutions as a response to the difficulties brought on by the Covid-19 outbreak. More information (in English) 

Hack the crisis Hungary

The innovation supporters DARINNO and Dig-I-Hub are co-organising 48-houhackathon to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Between the 3rd and 5th of April, participants from all walks of life will brainstorm to find solutions to support communities, professionals, organisations, and educational institutions in tackling the problems caused by the outbreak. People from more than 30 countries have already signed up for this event. Registration is possible via their website. 

Dev’Up: regional platform of personal protective equipment

The French development agency Dev’Up has, as part of an initiative of the regional government of Centre Val-de-Loire, created a platform that connects suppliers, producers, and providers of personal protective equipment (PPE). The platform has comprehensive maps of companies and a forum for establishing cooperation and making offers and requests. This is a tool reserved for professionals and designed to allow exchanges of essential equipment, raw materials, spare parts, and equipment. It includes companies, health professionals, nursing homes, and all companies needing to protect their staff. More information (in French).

€80 Million for local SMEs in Calabria

The Calabria region has allocated €80 million to support local enterprises damaged by the Covid-19 crisis. These economic resource taken from the ERDF Regional Operational programme 2014-2020 – will be distributed in the form of non-repayable grants for the payments of the employers’ salaries of the local SMEs. The measure will be available from April until the 30th of September. Fincalabra is the Regional Development Agency charged with gathering all the applications through the creation of an online platform. More information (in Italian).

Suspending instalments to support local enterprises

In order to limit the negative impact of the Covid-19 emergency on the local economy, the regional government of Calabria has decided to suspend repayments on all loans for local SMEs which it has issued through the Development Agency Fincalabra. This suspension is until September 30th, 2020. The deadlines for the realisation of investments, their completion, and their final accounting have also been moved back to the same date. More information (in Italian). 

COVID-19 and Circular Economy challenges in Lombardy

The regional government of Lombardy (Italy) has approved a “Roadmap on Circular Economy”, which sets priorities for research and innovation activities in order to boost enterprises’ investments in the post-Covid period while encouraging the transition towards sustainable methods of production and development. Finlombarda – the local Regional Development Agency – also took part in a Working Group to define the roadmap, together with the “Regional Department of Research, Innovation, University, Export, and Internationalisation” and the technological cluster “AFIL – Associazione Fabbrica Intelligente Lombardia. More information (in Italian).

Financial Support for MSMEs in Piedmont

The Regional Development Agency Finpiemonte has established support for financial operations linked to liquidity targeted at the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of Piedmont, as well as self-employed. The MSMEs and self-employed which have faced a profit downturn more than 30% for the period March/April 2020 – compared to the same period of 2019 – can apply for financial support linked to their liquidity needs, up to a maximum of €150 000. More information.

Reduction of interest and access to credit in Piedmont

The region of Piedmont has allowed the extension of the instalments due to the Regional Development Agency Finpiemonte. Approximately 1000 companies will benefit from this measure, which has an estimated worth of €110 million. Thus, the region has allocated €7.3 million to facilitate access to credit for local SMEs. These resources, managed by Finpiemonte, will be available until the end of 2020 and will allow beneficiaries to have assured liquidity while drastically reducing related costs. More information (in Italian).

Compilation of urgent measures implemented by Spanish RDAs 

Straight after the outbreak of coronavirus, Spanish RDAs began designing a wide variety of measures to minimise the economic downturn and provide businesses with relevant information. Please find in the following file a complete description of ‘Spanish RDAs’ urgent measures. These include: ensuring companies have enough cash liquidity to make payments; suspension, postponement, and splitting-up of tax payments; and financial aid for SMEs and self-employed workers. The Spanish RDA AssociationForo ADR, has made these measures available and is constantly updating them on Foro ADR_News (In Spanish). 

€50 Million financial plan for local SMEs in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia

Friulia – the Regional Development Agency of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia in Italy – has launched a financial plan of €50 million to support companies during the Covid-19 crisis. The set of measures includes 4-month loans at subsidised rates and without commissions for urgent cash needs, free advice on the recalibration of business plans, and the postponement by 12 months of the payment of all instalments due by the 31st  December 2020 without any additional interest. More than thirty companies participated by Friulia have already applied to access to these resources. More information (in Italian).

Supporting subsidiarity companies in Friuli Venezia Giulia

In Italy, Friulia Finanziaria has launched a financial plan of €50 Million to support companies in Friuli Venezia Giulia by providing loans at advantageous interest rates, extending the repayment dates of loan instalments with their deadline in 2020, and allowing requests for new interventions with improved economic conditions for companies with agreements due to end in 2020. Friulia has a total investment of €162 million in 94 companies, which have produced a combined revenue of €2,2 billion and employed 770 people in the regionMore information (in Italian). 

Cantabria: resistance check for business maintenance

In Cantabria, the regional government has initiated different measures targeted at SMEs and self-employed workers to overcome the economic effects the COVID-19 measures will have on them. For instance, a so-called resistance check will be provided to those enterprises that request it, varying in its amount according to the number of employees of the business at stake. Also, commissions and interests payments have been suspended for those companies involved in financial operations with the Finance Institute of Cantabria. Also, tax return and self-liquidation dates have been postponed. Further aid measures can be found here.

Balearic Islands: new microsite to make information more accessible

In the Balearic Islands, the regional government has started working on an emergency credit line aimed at industrial companies. More projects are also being implemented under this line. Those companies based on FundacióBit (start-ups accelerator established by the Balearic Foundation of Innovation and Technology) will not be obliged to pay their rent while the state of alarm decreed by the national government remains in place. Also, a microsite has been launched in order to gather the measures undertaken either by the regional or the national government, all in the same site. More information.

Reorientation of the production

Hauts-de-France Innovation Development has implemented a coordinated support system for enterprises in close cooperation with the French State (DIRECCTE), the departments of the regional government, the chambers of commerce, competitiveness clusters, associations of enterprises and other regional economic organisations. HDFID has facilitated the reorientation of production and identified companies able to supply hydroalcoholic gel, masks, and respirators. The agency is providing support for distance learning, logistics, additive manufacturing, creativity, collaborative work, and exchange of business models. Many regional businesses have come forward. More information (in French).

Kickstarting tourism in the Peloponnese Region

“Progressive economic recovery” is phase 3 of the national plan for restarting the Greek economy. The country is opening its borders to foreign tourists and the Peloponnese Region is preparing for this through its Tourism Promotion Program. Around 200 000 will be used to train workers in the tourism sector through a series of online educational seminars on the application of health protocols in catering, accommodation, etc. The following links provide more information (in English) on the national government’s plan and the Peloponnese Region’s program (in Greek).

Active inquiry of Flevoland’s businesses 

Horizon, the development agency of Flevoland (NL) is undertaking an in-depth inquiry by phone to analyse the impact of the pandemic on its businesses. First results show that businesses are mainly seeking clarity about the national government’s COVID-19 regulations. Furthermore, entrepreneurs report a clear need for bridging loans and for networks and advice on questions such as how to adapt their business to the current situation, or how to support other entrepreneurs.  

Contact Elise de Haas for more details. 

ICE: Emergency credit lines and digital transformation

Various measures have been adopted by the Regional Government of Castilla y León. Although they are aimed at different areas, all of them have the same goal; the maintenance of the industrial activity. Especially remarkable are: ICE COVID-19 line, an emergency credit line for SMEs and self-employed workers managed by the RDA ICE; the digital transformation of companies for those SMEs that implement digital teleworking and other solutions; and a support line for the maintenance of business activity for SMEs from particularly affected sectors as tourism and commerce.

#AragónenMarcha to produce sanitary equipment

The regional government of Aragón and the RDA IAF, along with several other actors from civil society including trade unions, an employers’ federation, and an association of SMEs, have launched the initiative #AragónenMarcha. Its goal is to coordinate and focus the resources regional companies have towards overcoming this crisis. The regional authorities will organise the activities of those companies capable of using their industrial capacities to produce sanitary and personal protective equipment. More information.

IDEPA: Suspension of due payments to SMEs

The Regional Governing Council approved a series of measures on the 26th of March that would add to those already announced by the Regional Ministry of Social Rights and Welfare to support especially vulnerable groups and those announced in previous days by the Regional Ministry of Finance. The regional government will mobilise €32 million in ten different measures, from which the RDA IDEPA will manage five, such as an increase of credit funds available for SMEs and the self-employed with a new line of guarantees from the Asturian mutual guarantee society; an 80% discount on the hiring of foreign trade advisers managed by Asturex (internationalisation agency); and a moratorium on rental payments for spaces in business centres linked to the Principality of Asturias. More information.

INFO Murcia: innovation vouchers for digital development

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.

Italian regional SME policy responses

OECD-Trento Centre for Local Development (part of CFE), has published a study on policy responses adopted by regions of Italy to support SMEs as of the 1st of April. Most of the actions are related to access to credit, simplified procedures, public funding, work and welfare, and fiscal easing. On March 27th, the OECD estimated a potential drop in Italian national GDP of more than 25%, and a potential reduction in private consumption of more than 35%. More information.

IVACE: Col·labora & Connect platform for cooperation between companies

The Regional Development Agency of Valencia IVACE and the Network of Technological Institutes, have launched the Col·labora & Connect platform to facilitate collaboration between companies and sectors and try to minimise the consequences of the current health crisis. They are offering assistance for those companies whose main providers are from China, in order to find a reliable alternative, as well as finding new clients in those markets most dependent on the Chinese supply. On the other hand, the Government is working on a €97 million package of measures to support self-employed workers and emergency credit line for companies facing a coronavirus-related hit. A working group with representatives of companies and trade unions has been constituted for that end.

JIC consulting support

JIC has been well known for its excellence in entrepreneurship consultation since its establishment in 2003. Approximately 100 companies from South Moravia go through its programs every year, from start-ups with new ideas to established companies. Many of these companies have decided to contribute. JIC has established a free emergency consultation programme through which experienced coaches provide up to 20 hours of JIC expert time, with 100% financial support for JIC consultation up to CZK 30 000 (€1 098). More information.

Extremadura: a micro-credit line to support industrial activity in the region

Measures in Extremadura are mainly related to tax payment. Suspension, postponement, and fractioning are some of the solutions devised in this area by the regional government with the aim of speeding up waiting periods for cash disbursals from the government to service providers. They also plan to reduce waits for the transfer of grant and aid money. In order to help small and medium-sized companies, the government has deployed a new micro-credit line with the purpose of providing liquidity and sustaining industrial activity in the region, with a maximum of €25.000 per company and a low-interest rate, of 1.5%. The duration of the credit will not exceed five years. More information

€375 million for SMEs in Lazio

On May 22, the region of Lazio signed an agreement with ‘Cassa Depositi e Prestiti’ – the Italian Development Finance Institution – to allocate €375 million to local SMEs facing economic difficulties due to the Covid-19 crisis. The agreement is part of the ’Pronto Cassa-Fare Lazio’ call and will guarantee interest-free loans of €10 000 to the companies in question. Lazio Innova, together with Artigiancassa, has been in charge of gathering the SMEs’ loan requests, totalling 42 000 applications so far. More information (in Italian).

Better conditions for enterprises from Malopolska

Malopolska Regional Development Agency (MARR), has changed the conditions of the credits to consider the difficult economic situation of companies and aim to secure liquidity in SME companies and to maintain jobs. The borrowers would get additional up to 6-month in the repayment of loan capital instalments and/or 4-month of loan delay in the repayment of capital and interest instalments. The Agency offers specific services to the regional companies supporting investors, attracting foreign direct investments, providing loans and guarantees and industrial parks. The agency increases the investment attractiveness of the region and undertakes activities that contribute to a strong economic branding of the region. More information.

National measures to support SMEs

At the following link is a complete list of measures implemented by national governments to combat the Covid-19 crisis, including some regional measures as wellThese have been compiled by DG GROW of the European Commission with contributions from the SME envoys of each member state. If you are designing measures, we strongly recommend reading the document Most frequent measures across EU countries V1.6. You will see that most of the measures designed are related to providing liquidity using loans.

NEXA: Tools for smart working

The Development Agency of La Réunion (Nexa) has elaborated a comprehensive report for companies setting up online conferences and smart-working. Like many other companies and administrations, Nexa’s teams have also gone into smart-working mode to continue to provide their services during this crisis and so they have developed experience in managing distance meetings. The staff have tested and selected a series of tools to make effective team meetings and maintain practices of collective intelligence inside the organisation. More information (in French).

Information for companies

One German RDA that is offering a more comprehensive set of financial instruments and useful links is NRW.INVEST, the economic development agency of North Rhine-Westphalia. This includes not only traditional forms of financial aid such as loans and non-repayable grants, but also more unorthodox measures such as the Micromezzanine Fund; a hybrid of equity and debt capitalNRW.INVEST assists companies, the self-employed, and freelancers . More information

PROCESA: acceleration for granting subsidies

As a consequence of the situation unfolding due to the COVID-19 outbreak, in Ceuta, the local Economic board has signed a decree with certain measures in order to speed-up the subsidies payment to companies and self-employed workers of the region, being financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund Operational Programme, originally destined to employment creation. PROCESA, the region’s development agency, will provide the technical evaluation committee and propose the grant of the subsidies when necessary. More information

Corona-Bridging Loans

The Dutch Regional Development Agencies have established corona-bridging loans. The initiative began on the 29th of April with a budget of €100 million for start-ups, scale-ups, and innovative SMEs. This scheme was established on the initiative of the Dutch Cabinet and involves the cooperation of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, all Regional Development Agencies (through the umbrella organisation ROM), and TechLeap.nl. The amounts of the loans will vary between €50,000 and €2 million with a uniform interest rate of 3%. At amounts above €250,000, 25% co-financing is expected from shareholders or other investors. More information (in Dutch).

Ústí region supports the self-employed

Ústí region has launched a programme of grant subsidies of up to CZK 25 000 (€915) for micro-enterprises and the self-employed. The grant is complementary to other support measures, such that self-employed worker will have to be receiving a national state subsidy. The assistance is intended for companies with up to 5 employees. Applications will begin to be accepted from the 11th of May. More information (in Czech).

Scotland joins up efforts to support business

All of Scotland’s three enterprise agencies, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, and South of Scotland Enterprise, are pooling their efforts by establishing a Covid-19 Response Steering Group (CRSG) to support businesses across the country. This includes efforts to provide information on available support through a website and helpline, facilitate information-sharing between partner organisations, and promote response measures for businesses to take, among other activities.

SNN – Successful Covid-19 solutions call using CRII+

The Northern Netherlands Alliance (SNN) is one of the first European entities to make use of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII+), an initiative of the European Commission to provide flexibility to mobilise cohesion funds for rapidly emerging needs. In a short period of time, the SNN launched a Covid-19 solutions call using ERDF resources. Three northern Dutch provinces and the SNN have worked efficiently in recent weeks to provide a rapid economic response to promote regional economic development and innovation. The total budget of the call was €1 million and 20 consortia have registered applications; the 5 best ones will be selected. More information.

SODENA: risk-covered endorsements for new financing operations

In Navarra, the regional government, through the Regional Development Agency SODENA, has signed an agreement with different entities to support companies and self-employed workers against the economic effects of COVID-19. More specifically, the measure will back the concession of endorsements for new financing operations up to a total of €100 million. The operation’s risk will be covered, as SODENA will assume 20% of the counter-guarantees usually demanded, while the remaining amount will be charged to the mutual guarantee companies which are part of the agreement and to the state guarantee society.

Enhancing competitiveness and sustainability

The Development Agency of Sisak-Moslavina County (SI-MO-RA) is providing free counselling on government and institutional measures in Croatia. It is offering impactful mentoring by telephone, e-mail, and through its website, which contains information on open tenders for entrepreneurship, financial instruments, and more. In addition, the agency is also present on social networks to facilitate access for entrepreneurs to specialised information about all emergency economic measures, as well as information on the required documentation for the application, as well as the review and preparation of documentation. More information.

Counselling and support on digital transformation

The Basque Government has approved a set of measures to tackle the current crisis which amounts to €841 million. €200 million thereof are destined to reinforce the healthcare system; 55 million to the most disadvantaged groups; and 586 million to SMEs and self-employed individuals. Grupo SPRI, the Basque RDA, is also offering aid to companies; some of their measures are postponed payments of rents in industrial and technological parks, non-refundable I&R subsidies and advice on how to introduce teleworking. More information.

Galicia: improvement in the regional’s innovation ecosystem

The regional government of Galicia is going to provide answers through research, development, and innovation in the context of the current health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several economic initiatives have been approved, such as financing for industrialisation processes that allow companies to manufacture medical materials and equipment. The Galician Innovation Agency has launched an appeal to identify the capacities of the Galician Innovation System, in order to attract companies with innovative solutions to fight the virus. They did so via a survey that can be accessed here. Also, immediate liquidity injections for SMEs and self-employed workers are already available and will mobilise up to €250 million.

CEEVO agreements with China

CEEVO, the Economic Development Agency of Val-d’Oise, is informing its staff of all available national and regional financial incentives and ensuring a link with relevant state and business actors. Their experts have been mobilised to call companies individually in order to share with them all information concerning not only financial support mechanisms but also the different platforms for finding protective equipment. CEEVO has been active for over thirty years establishing cooperation agreements with economic actors in China, notably by relying on its permanent representative office in Shanghai. The Departmental Council of Val-d’Oise also has a cooperation agreement with the Municipality of the Pudong District in Shanghai which provides masks to Val d’Oise. More information (in French).

New loans with favourable credit terms in Veneto

The regional government of Veneto (Italy) has approved extraordinary measures to grant loans with favourable credit terms to guarantee liquidity for companies hit hard by the current crisis. The loans are geared towards SMEs in the trade, craftsmanship, secondary, and tertiary sectors. The Regional Development Agency Veneto Sviluppo has been appointed by the regional government to identify financiers interested in implementing the extraordinary measures through a public announcement. More information (in Italian).

VLAIO: Efficient corona premium compensation

The Flemish government has adopted a wide range of measures to provide financial support to companies. Among those measures, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Agency (VLAIO) has provided an efficient system for managing applications from companies. It provides grants of €4 000 for those companies which must close and €3 000 for those with turnover losses beyond 60%. An application can be made by an entrepreneur or enterprise’s external accountant in less than 6 minutes. Over 80 000 applications had already been made after the first few days. More information (in Dutch).

We are sure that you are preparing measures to help SMEs through the coming weeks. We would like to assist you in this effort and put together different practices, give you a comparative assessment and identify what works particularly well. We would appreciate if you could send us information about your initiativesGiven your workload, we want to make this exercise as easy as possible for you, simply copy us links to ministerial orders, laws, websites or send us short descriptions of the measures, whatever is the easiest for you. Contact: tessa.anne@eurada.org