EU Funds to be Allocated Regionally

More than 16 bln euro will be made available between 2007 and 2013 for regional development programs.

Gazeta Wyborcza reports some 3 mln euro will be allocated to support various industries. The money will not only be issued as direct allocations for businesses, but also spent on developing on institutions that are needed in the business sector.
This means business will be able to get financial assistance not only from the one centralized national business program but from 16 other regional program centres.

The allocation of funds will be divided up. Larger innovative projects valued at more than 2 mln euro will be financed by the Innovative Business program.

Companies that do not reach the above amount will be required to seek assistance in the regional programs.

The aim is for full regionalization. Businesses that have currently worked with the Polish Business Development Agency will no longer apply to the agency for assistance. Each regional center will independently assess the projects and draw up procedures for allocating funds. The Silesian example indicates how such a regional fund allocation project will work.

The regional authorities have decided to firstly, as part of the Priority 1 Plan, to support technological parks as well as to promote industries within the region. The funds will be given to the business and research sector. Funds for these projects will not be made available directly to businesses but companies may indirectly benefit from such projects. 85 mln euro has been allocated for the projects.

Direct funds for businesses will be made available thanks to the Priority 2 Plan. This plan is divided into various sectors. The dominant sector is the micro-business sector. An entrepreneur may receive up to 200,000 zloty for investment projects as well as be able to take part in international trade shows. EU funds may make up 60 percent of the investment capital. The Silesian region has allocated 70 mln euro for the Priority 2 Plan.

Small to medium-sized businesses will receive up to 136 mln euro in support. The process is similar to that of the micro-business Priority 1 Plan. An additional changes is that small businesses will be able to purchase advisory services whilst carrying out their investment plans. The maximum financial support amount is 750,000 zloty, with EU funds not being more than 60 percent of the investment capital for small businesses and 50 percent for medium sized businesses.

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