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Ponta Delgada ,  February 13, 2012

Government moves forward with Regional Employment Enhancement Programme by supporting the financing of companies

The Vice-President of the Regional Government announced in Ponta Delgada today that the Azorean Government will ensure the financial support in the amount eight million Euros to regional companies at risk due to economic difficulties.

Sérgio Ávila explained at a press conference that the reimbursable and interest-free financial support provided by the Regional Government, under the Employment Enhancement Programme, comprises companies facing difficulties in accessing bank funding to maintain their jobs.

During the press briefing to present the Employment Enhancement Programme, the Vice-President stated that this measure aims to minimise the constraints of companies resulting from the lack of bank funding to support production and economic activities.
 
The government official added that this support measure consists of an interest-free loan for six years, with a grace period of three years, which corresponds to eight times the monthly minimum wage per job.

He also noted that micro companies, with a total up to 10 workers, benefit from a financial support in the amount of 25,000 Euros whilst small companies (up to 50 workers) may benefit from a 100,000 Euro support.

Regarding mid-sizes companies, the Government ensures a financial support up to 300 thousand Euros, Sérgio Ávila said, stressing that when there are several companies in the same economic or business group, the funding limit may reach 400,000 Euros.

The Vice-President of the Government admitted that the Employment Enhancement Programme will enable the maintenance of two thousand jobs, directly, and over eight thousand, indirectly.

According to Sérgio Ávila, banks have been drastically reducing their ability to finance economic activities in the archipelago. In 2007, banks only invested 620 million Euros in the Region.
 
Furthermore, the government official added that in 2011 financial institutions have failed to create any additional funding to regional companies.

In order to solve this serious problem, the Vice-President admitted that since 2009, the Regional Government has been restructuring the debt of 697 companies in a total amount of 273 million Euros.

He also stated that it was possible to ensure new bank loans for 1239 companies in a total of 65.3 million Euros.
 
In the context of the measures implemented since 2009, the Azorean Government has supported 1,936 companies, assuring the funding or refunding of 338.3 million Euros to companies across the archipelago.

Sérgio Ávila also mentioned that the Employment Enhancement Programme, whose deadline for the  submission of applications enters into force within two weeks, involves companies that have undergone administrative or judicial recovery process as well as those that suspended labour agreements or laid off workers in the last 24 months.

The programme benefits economically viable companies with a positive net income in at least one of the last five years of operation.

It also covers the companies facing wage arrears issues that have had access to bank funding in the last 24 months to pay Tax and Social Security debts.


GaCS/CM
 
 
 
 
 
   
 

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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