Call for proposals: Aid to tourism SME’s for their modernisation and upgrading the quality of services provided

The program “Aid to tourism SMEs for their modernisation and upgrading the quality of services provided” is financed by the “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation” Operational Programme (EPAnEK) of PA 2014 – 2020 and its main objective is to strengthen existing micro, small and medium sized enterprises in the Tourism Sector, which is a strategic intervention sector of EPAnEK, in order to modernise them, upgrade their quality and enhance their contributions regarding products and services, enabling them to improve their position on the domestic and international tourism markets.

Eligible Enterprises

Existing micro, small and medium enterprises, as set out in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/ΕC, operating exclusively in Tourism, a strategic priority sector of EPAnEk, and employing on average in the last three years at least one (1) AWU salaried worker can submit a proposal for this Program. Existing enterprises are the ones established before 31/12/2013.

The eligible categories for business activities (Activity Code Numbers – KAD), which will be subsidised in the context of the Action are included in the Call for Proposals of the Program.

Conditions of participation

  • they must operate in Greece and make an investment in a specific region;
  • they must operate exclusively under one of the following forms: undertakings of a corporate / commercial character (Societe Anonyme, Limited Liability Company, Partnership or Limited Partnership and Private Company) and sole proprietorships;
  • should not be in a state of bankruptcy, being wound up or special administration;
  • should not constitute undertakings in difficulty  in the sense attributed by the law on state aid;
  • there should be no outstanding aid recovery procedures against them;
  • to have or to commit to procuring the appropriate infrastructure with the purpose of minimising the obstacles for people with disabilities, wherever required and necessary. Infrastructures mean the building infrastructure, as well as the electronic applications addressed to the customers (e.g. webpages and other electronic applications, such as electronic information and/or service points, etc.);
  • to submit up to one investment proposal per Tax ID No.;
  • the total amount of de minimis aid received by the company in the past, including the aid from this Action, should not exceed the amount of €200,000 (or €100,000 for the transport sector) within a period of three years (current financial year and (2) previous financial years) prior to the date of proposal inclusion.

Public enterprises, public entities or public organisations and/or their subsidiaries, as well as similar enterprises are not entitled to submit a proposal.

Project’s Budget – Geographical Distribution

The Program is financed with the total amount of €70,000,000 (Public Expenditure) and is allocated to the regions throughout the country as follows:

  • Eastern Macedonia & Thrace, Central Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Western Greece: €28,756,000
  • Western Macedonia, Ionian Islands, Peloponnese, Northern Aegean, Crete: €323,044,000
  • Attica: €9,800,000
  • Sterea Ellada: €2,800,000
  • Southern Aegean: €5,600,000

TOTAL: €70,000,000

The Public Expenditure of the program is co-financed by the Greek State and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with use of the flexibility clause for financing interventions that fall under the scope of aid from the ESF.

Aid Schemes

In the context of the program –in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1407/2013 (De Minimis)– projects with a total investment budget (subsidised budget) from €15,000 up to €150,000 will be subsidized.

The aid rate is set at a maximum of 40% of the eligible expenses of the investment plan. In the event of new personnel being hired, the aid rate is increased by 10 points only after the achievement of this target is certified.

Up to 40% of the of the corresponding Public Expenditure can be paid in advance by providing a letter of guarantee for the same amount by a bank or other financial institution established in one of the EU member states.

Project Duration: twenty four (24) months from the issuance date of the decision for the inclusion of the investment plan.

Eligible Expenditure categories:

  • Modernisation and qualitative upgrading of building and other infrastructure;
  • Energy / water savings interventions;
  • Interventions for enriching the contributing with new services (extension to alternative forms, interventions of persons with disabilities, etc.)
  • Infrastructure and service certifications;
  • Publicizing – promoting the businesses on target markets;
  • Third party fees.

It should be noted that the payroll cost of existing or new personnel to be employed in the specific project is eligible, with the use of the flexibility clause in the ERDF for ESF funding interventions.

The beginning of expenditure eligibility is set as the date of the proclamation’s publication (11/02/2016).