The Government prepares the launch of one of the star plans to comply with the digitization promised to the European Union in the Recovery Plan, which foresees that at least 28% of the aid granted from Brussels will be dedicated to this area. The Prime Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia calvio, presents this Thursday the so-called digital kit, 3,067 million euros that make up the main item of a total of 4,656 million planned for the digitization of Spanish SMEs. 98% of companies in the country and more than 50% of employment fall within these small and medium-sized companies.
The new aid system will actually go to the facilitators of the technological solutions required by SMEs: software specialists (hardware will be excluded) who will help these businesses to, for example, create their own website, increase their sales. or promote yourself through social media. Carme artigas, Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence, will also intervene in this presentation on which Pedro Sánchez has already advanced that, in his first call, enable 500 million for companies with between 10 and 49 workers.
The SMEs Those who apply for these grants from Europe will be able to use digital service providers, training companies that will accompany the applicants and that will become part of a catalog available to small and medium-sized companies that require a solution. However, foreign digital giants like Google or Microsoft are excluded when it comes to capturing these aid, as EL MUNDO has learned; To benefit from this boost, they will have at least one national partner that participates in the training and digital protection of Spanish SMEs.
According to the regulatory bases of the Program, to which this medium has had access, this first tranche for the aid will be allocated to the SMEs with 10 to 49 employees who will be eligible for bonuses worth 12,000 euros each. Since in this first section, 500 million euros in aid, in total 41,600 companies they can benefit.
In any case, the 12,000 euros will not be entered in the accounts of the companies, but they will receive a voucher that can be redeemed to receive training from another company that previously would have had to be accredited as “digitization agent“Actually, it will be these training companies that will receive the money in exchange for instructing SMEs in digital matters.
“The granting of aid will materialize through the delivery of a digital voucher to the company, 12,000 euros. Said voucher will be transferred to the corresponding digitizing agent to pay for the services provided in a period of up to 24 months“, collects the document of the bases, 87 pages.
Could be training companies all those that have been in operation for at least two years, that have headquarters and operational center in Spain, with personnel registered with Social Security and with a minimum billing of 100,000 euros per yearas long as they are not in what is called a “crisis situation.” These companies will receive a first payment when they sign the agreement with the SME – in which the digitization solutions in which they will be trained are agreed – and a second disbursement will come when the training is over.
Aid can only be ordered online
The public entity Red.es, attached to the Ministry of Economy, be in charge of manage aid: grant them, resolve them, pay them and even deal with sanctions if irregularities occur. Help you Chamber of Commerce of Spain, to carry out a control and monitoring of the aid.
It is curious that although these grants are to promote the digitization of SMEs, they can only be apply online and the award criteria will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
“The aid will be granted in order of application, applying the non-competitive competition regime (…) Due to the expected volume of applications to be received by potential beneficiaries and to simplify and expedite their processing, the presentation only by telematic means (…) The submission of applications will be carried out through the electronic form provided for this purpose in each call “, is included in the bases.
Although the procedure seems simple, there are consultants that help SMEs to request them in exchange for a commission, such as Yotramito or StartupGrade or FactorYdea. The employers’ association itself, CEOE, has also created a service to help companies apply for calls for European funds in exchange for an annual commission.
Since the calls are published, SMEs will have three months to request the aid, although the Government admits that the term will remain open “until exhaustion of budgeted credit“They want to avoid the recurrence of situations in which the implementation of aid has been very low due to lack of demand.
More digital initiatives
Digitizing Agents will offer a range of courses aimed at implementing or improving the electronic commerce, digitize relationships with customers and suppliers, develop internal paperless processes, implement the electronic bill, increase the presence on the internet,automate processes and improve the cybersecurity. The grants may not be used to replace or improve services or systems already used by the company, it is noted in the bases.
In total, the Government allocate 3,067 million to the Digital kit, but they will be released in sections. After this first one, for companies with 10 to 49 employees, there will be another for companies with 3 to 9 employees (whose bonuses will amount to 6,000 euros) and another for companies with less than 2 employees (with bonuses of 2,000 euros). The autonomous They will also be eligible for aid.
In addition to this kit, there are other initiatives such as connectivity bonuses (50 million), protection in cybersecurity (42 million), the deployment of a office network to accelerate digitization (26 million), manager training (256 million) or digitization of the Commerce (325 million), among other lines of work, until adding the aforementioned 4,656 million of public investment for the Spanish SMEs of the future.
The European Commission has repeatedly noted the lack of digitization of SMEs in Spain, all a detriment to improve productivity and even more so in a country where companies of this type make up most of the business fabric.
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