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Ponta Delgada ,  June 08, 2020

Applications open for Azorean companies to access support for adaptation of establishments to COVID-19 context

The applications to support investments promoted by small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aimed at adapting their facilities in accordance with guidelines issued by the regional authorities, with a view to reopening their establishments and resuming activity, are already open. 

This is another measure created by the Regional Government to increase support for companies within the subsystem of incentives for Local Development and the Incentive System for Business Competitiveness-Competir +, whose Regional Implementing Decree has been published in the Official Gazette. 

According to the regulations, companies may submit projects to adapt their facilities in the amount between 5,000 and 40,000 Euros, with a maximum completion period of six months. This amount may exceptionally reach 120 thousand Euros for companies operating several establishments.
In this context, the Regional Government will grant a non-refundable incentive that covers 70% of eligible expenses so that companies may reopen their establishments and resume activity in a safe and stable environment in the face of the new reality that requires the necessary adaptations. 

This incentive covers expenses incurred since March 18 with layout alteration works, purchase of machinery and equipment deemed necessary to comply with new working methods, purchase and installation of sanitation and cleaning equipment, and acquisition of protective equipment intended to separate suppliers and clients, among others. 

Besides this specific support line to finance companies' expenses in adapting their facilities to the stipulated standards, the Regional Government also promoted the simplification of procedures aimed at providing companies with more direct and immediate access to the incentives granted under the subsystem of incentives for Local Development. The latter ensures support to micro and small-sized enterprises investing between 2,500 and 15,000 Euros in projects for the adaptation of their facilities. 

These projects must have an impact on the modernisation and optimisation of the physical structures of companies, the introduction of innovative equipment and on the creation or maintenance of jobs, but without neglecting compliance with the guidelines defined by regional authorities for the reopening of establishments and the resumption of activity.
In addition to this measure, Azorean companies can also access additional support that includes a non-refundable grant amounting to 85% of the costs with the purchase of personal protective and hygiene equipment. 

The Support Programme for the Adaptation of Companies to the COVID-19 context, whose application period has been running for more than three weeks, covers expenses between 500 and 5,000 Euros for projects that meet the conditions required by the health authority for the resumption of activity, targeting micro and small enterprises and cooperatives.

Considering that compliance with the adaptation measures for the resumption of activity entails costs for companies, the Regional Government has created this additional support. Each company may submit one application per establishment, with a maximum eligible investment of 15 thousand Euros being allowed in the case of an entrepreneur operating several establishments. 

According to the Support Programme for the Adaptation of Companies to the COVID-19 context, eligible expenses include those incurred since March 18 for the installation of protective barriers, among other physical distancing equipment, reorganisation and adaptation of workplaces, as well as the acquisition of devices and personal protective equipment, namely masks, gloves and protection visors, among others. 

Under this new support, with an overall budget of 2.5 million Euros, companies may submit three payment requests, corresponding to 40% of the eligible expenses for each interim request and 20% in the case of the final request. In the case of interim requests, they may be submitted in the form advance invoice payment.
Applications are open until September 30. They should be submitted through an electronic form available on the website of the Regional Directorate for Support to the Investment and Competitiveness.


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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