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Angra do Heroísmo ,  May 18, 2020

Regional Government creates new support for companies in the purchase of protective equipment and adaptation of their establishments

The Regional Government, through the Vice-Presidency, has implemented new support measures that include a non-refundable grant that can reach 85% of the costs with the purchase of personal protective and sanitation equipment, as well as 70% of the costs with the adaptation of establishments for their reopening. 

The Support Programme for the Adaptation of Companies to the COVID-19 context, whose resolution was published today in the Official Journal, aims to allocate non-refundable financial support to cover 85% of expenses between 500 and 5,000 Euros in the case of projects that meet the conditions indicated by the health authority for the resumption of the activity. This measure is specifically directed to micro companies 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 15,000 Euros being allowed in the case of an entrepreneur operating several establishments. 

According to the resolution now published, 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 for this new measure are available from today 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. 

Moreover, the Regional Government has decided to reformulate the subsystem of incentives for Local Development and the Incentive System for Business Competitiveness, Competir+, to strengthen the support for companies so that they may reopen their establishments and resume activity. 

The Regional Implementing Decree now approved covers investments promoted by small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aimed at adapting their facilities in accordance with the guidelines issued by regional authorities.
Accordingly, 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 120,000 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. 

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. 

The subsystem of incentives for Local Development aims to encourage investment projects for the modernisation of establishments, boost the domestic market and expand the productive capacity of regional companies.

Regarding the Support Programme for the Adaptation of Companies to the COVID-19 context, the resolution published today in the Official Journal comes into force immediately, while the Regional Implementing Decree, approved by the Council of the Government, only takes effect after the approval of the Representative of the National Government for the Autonomous Region of the Azores. 

For the Regional Government, the implementation of this new support measures in a context of progressive lifting of containment measures is of great importance, considering the preparation of the next stage. It will be focused on the cycle of economic recovery of the Azores in a climate of safety without neglecting the priority in the fight against the pandemic.


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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