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Ponta Delgada ,  May 02, 2019

Azorean companies distinguished once again with SME Excellence status

The Regional Director for Support to the Investment and Competitiveness stressed today that the Azores "once again make up" the list of companies distinguished with the SME Leader and SME Excellence status.
Ricardo Medeiros spoke during a visit to the company Líder Fruta on São Miguel, a beneficiary of Competir+ measure and one of the Azorean companies included in the recently published SME Excellence list, a status granted by IAPMEI (Portuguese Agency for SME and Innovation) and Tourism of Portugal in partnership with 10 banks with branch offices in Portugal.
The Regional Director stated that the criteria for the awarding of this status are "very strict" and are related to some financial ratios, such as the growth of the previous year's turnover, and to the company risk; the latter is assessed by mutual guarantee societies.
The companies distinguished with SME Excellence status are chosen among those considered SME Leader. They may benefit from a more privileged relation with banks as far as this distinction may facilitate the granting of better financing conditions, besides their increased visibility as a direct result of this award.
Ricardo Medeiros stated that, among the 147 Azorean companies considered SME Leader in 2018, 31 were now considered SME Excellence in the trade, tourism, construction and industry sectors.
According to the Regional Director, this figure "is a sign that Azorean companies are developing positively in face of recent years of economic difficulties." In this regard, he added that "the evolution over 61% in the number of companies awarded with this distinction since 2013 is also a sign that the Azorean business fabric is consolidated, thus boosting the development of the economy."
This sign is even more visible regarding to the overall number of SME Leader 2018 companies, which featured the largest number of regional companies.
The number of Azorean companies distinguished with this status in 2018 stood at 147, while this figure was only 131 in 2013. According to the Regional Director, "there are many regional companies on the right track, having been distinguished for their merit and good performance in terms of ratings and economic indicators."
As for the 31 companies considered SME Excellence, 19 have applied in recent years for incentive systems, which demonstrates the importance that these companies attach to the measures implemented by the Regional Government to boost economic activity and development.
"Given the growing trend in the number of regional companies awarded, we can say that there are good prospects for the business community and for the Azores," said the Regional Director.
The company visited today is mainly engaged in the wholesale and retail trade of fruit and vegetables, acquiring many of its products locally and regionally as well as exporting regional products when there is a surplus in the Region.
This company started its activity eight years ago with eight employees; it currently has 32.


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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