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Ponta Delgada ,  February 27, 2012

Regional Government creates new support measures for companies in the amount of 140 million Euros

When presiding over the ceremony to sign the protocols between 10 credit institutions, Garval Mutual Guarantee Society and the Regional Government - for the implementation of three new enhanced support measures for companies - Carlos César reiterated his confidence in "these measures which will greatly help our businesspeople despite the current difficulties arising from the external crisis.

The measures created (" Azorean Companies Credit Line III," "Support line for the restructuring of bank debt and liquidity" and the reformulation of the "Azores Invest Line II") will become "the new and useful support mechanism for Azorean companies, representing an estimated reinforcement of 140 million Euros.

The “Azores Companies Credit Line III" will provide 20 million Euros for the settlement of debts owed by Azorean companies as well as for the payment of debts to the IRS or Social Security.

In order to reduce the companies' expenses, the Azorean Government, as the President explained, will take on all costs related with the bank spread. In addition, the Government, in conjunction with the Mutual Guarantee Society, will guarantee the bank loan up to 75% with the purpose of encouraging and facilitating credit granting. This situation is expected to greatly reduce credit risks and improve the companies' attractiveness for banks.

The "Azores Invests Line II" has been redesigned and its financial provision was increased by over 20 million Euros. According to the Government's expectations, this line of credit will boost the adherence of credit institutions as the applicable interest rate will be increased without any additional costs to companies. In turn, the Regional Government will support all cost variations of the new funding measures.

A new line, designated as "Support line for the restructuring of bank debt and liquidity," has been created to support companies in the restructuring of previous funding by extending loan repayment deadlines and ensuring a new grace period of twelve months. Under this measure, companies will also benefit from a new funding to boost their liquidity.

As Carlos César added, this new measure will allow the refunding of companies up to a total amount of 100 million Euros. The Government will assume 75% of the financial burden with the bank spread up to a maximum interest rate bonus of 4.5 percentage points; this support will be limited to the financial burden incurred by the company in the last 45 months with the funding under restructuring plan.

Under these measures, the stipulated amount of credit to be granted is of 25,000 Euros for micro companies and 50,000 Euros for small companies. In the case of the remaining companies, the minimum amount to be awarded should correspond to 10% of the restructuring process, which may go up to 300,000 Euros.

"With these lines of credit and their innovative components as well as with the programmes and measures already announced - which are only possible due to the good management of regional public finances that has been recognised and praised by external entities - I am convinced that we can reverse the negative trend and overcome current difficulties," stressed the President of the Government.

For Carlos César, the availability of these support mechanisms is also possible due to the existence of an effective Community support framework that allocates a considerable financial support to companies.

The government official stressed that "unlike the rest of the country, which urgently needs to carry out the strategic reprogramming of the Community support framework to fit the necessary support measures for companies in financial and regulatory terms, the Azores have envisioned this priority since the beginning of this Community framework and, therefore, do not require this revision."

Carlos César revealed that this budget and fund planning context "will also contribute to the creation of a Financial Support Fund for companies in the amount of 70 million Euros, following the work we have developed in coordination with the National Government and some financial institutions."

This fund, he added, will be implemented as soon as the constraints and the regulatory and operational limitations to its implementation are overcome, which are not within the jurisdiction of the Regional Government.

The President of the Government, who reiterated the Government's commitment in overcoming the difficulties arising from the crisis, had already recalled the recent approval of new Employment Enhancement Programme. Under this project, the sum of eight million Euros will be allocated to support companies in the maintenance of two thousand jobs, directly, and over eight thousand, indirectly.
As he also noted, six lines of credit have been created over the last three years, supporting 1,955 companies in a total amount of 340 million Euros.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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