Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will also have a wide range of sources of non-reimbursable funding this year – 2018. Regrettably, however, as every year, there is no fixed timetable for calls for projects, the deadlines only become certain after the launch of the call guideline in public debate, usually just one month before the calls are opened.
However, it is important to know what funding possibilities the SMEs have and what are the general conditions for accessing the funds, as the preparation of a project is not an easy task for any entrepreneur. And this is not because the entrepreneur, promoter of the project does not know what he wants but because the project must meet certain eligibility criteria. As regards the allocation of public funds, the substantiation of the project can not be based on the applicant’s business instinct but on “evidence” supported by documents issued by third parties and by financial forecasts drawn up on the basis of a profitable activity history of the firm.
Take for example the common case of European funds dedicated to SMEs for investment in tangible assets in the production equipment category. The price of such a good can be estimated by the entrepreneur according to his own research or field observations but his own assessment would not be scored. It is important that the price comes from the manufacturer of the equipment or from an authorized dealer and that it bears the written form of a price offer obviously non-binding. At least three such offers are required for the price to become credible to the public authority responsible for managing the non-reimbursable funds allocated to that call for projects. Getting these price offers may take even weeks, which is why the call for tenders should take place before the call for projects is opened.
It is also useful for an entrepreneur who intends to apply for a grant to check in advance the legal status of the company. Even if the company is complying every month with its tax payments, there may be registration errors, so it is healthy for the company to get its tax clearance in advance to ensure that it has no outstanding debts. At the same time, the company will have to prove ownership / concession / use of the space intended for the implemention of the investment for usually at least 5 years. It is therefore advisable to check in advance those documents because they are generally hard to be obtained / rectified within a short time, being dependant on a multitude of external factors. If the funds are requested for a new construction, the urbanism certificate must be issued on the company’s name and indicate the destination of the construction according to the requested activity.
Moreover, because we find ourselves during the closure of 2017 accounts, it is good to know that on all SMEs financing lines an eligibility criterion is the recording of operating profit as a rule in the year before application for grants . As the difference between profit and loss can be extremely small from an accounting point of view it is advisable that the 2017 balance sheet show a profitable activity. In this way, the state will be confident that the allocated non-reimbursable funds will be more likely to succeed when SMEs are making profits in their current work.
Also in the category of the common evaluation criteria of the projects promoted by SMEs, there is also the proving of the project implementation capacity. This capacity translates primarily through the human resource that will complete the proposed project and the context in which it will be carried out. A formal adaptation of an expert’s biography is not enough to overlap exactly with the project requirements, but also a broader context to show that the company can support the proposed project through its current workflow. Recommendations from customers and suppliers, independent market studies can help by adding points to the evaluation. Again, they can not be obtained overnight, they must be prepared early.
These are just a few things that need to be prepared in advance to make sure that you can develop a competitive application to get a grant from European or national funds.
In the table below we included the main non-reimbursable financing lines for private companies open at February 2018:
|No.||Program||Grant value||Private contribution / Beneficiaries||Eligibile activities|
|OP Competitiveness POC 1.2.1Innovative Technology Project||Max. 22.500.000 lei||Depending on the type of beneficiary / enterprises for which the research activity is not the main activity.||Mandatory in the project:– experimental development
– the introduction of research results (initial investment for innovation) into production.
Only eligible domains:
– Information and communication technology, space and security
– Energy, Environment and Climate Change.
– Eco-nano-technologies and advanced materials.
– Health, a priority area of national interest.
|PO Large Infrastructure POIM 6.2||Max. 200.000 Euro||Industry companies with over 1,000 consumptiontoe / year.||– Acquisition and implementation of the energy consumption monitoring systemlevel of the industrial platform.
– Preparation of the project (elaboration of studies, obtaining approvals, authorizations, etc.).
– Project management, project audit.
|PNDR 4.1a Investments in fruit-growing holdings||Variabile||Between 10 şi 50%||– Investments in the setting up and modernization of the fruit farms, including the setting up and conversion of fruit plantations and the modernization of the agricultural machinery and equipment park.– Investments in setting up and upgrading of fruit nurseries, including the increase of the areas occupied by planting material.
– Establishment and upgrading of fruit processing units at farms.- setting up and / or upgrading access to the farm, including utilities and connections.
– investments to meet Community standards for young farmers, where support can be granted over a period of maximum 24 months from the time of installation.
– Other investments.