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Support for growth
The SME growth subsidy supports SMEs that want to make a strategic growth leap through transformation, innovation or internationalisation. The subsidy is intended for attracting the knowledge needed to successfully achieve this growth ambition.
To acquire this additional expertise or know-how, outside advice can be hired in or the company's in-house knowledge can be expanded, by hiring a strategic profile. A combination of both is also possible.
To qualify for the subsidy, the company must be at a 'pivotal moment'. You need to be able to demonstrate that the growth program will provide a substantial and new turn to current business operations and will have a major impact on multiple business processes.
For outside advice, 50% of the service provider's invoice amount can be reimbursed, for a maximum of 25,000 EUR.
For the recruitment of a strategic profile, the support measure allows for 50% of the gross annual salary in the first year of employment to be reimbursed, again with a maximum of 25,000 EUR.
If both schemes are combined, the subsidy can amount to 50,000 EUR.
The SME growth subsidy can be applied for every twelve months.
Also in times of corona
Companies affected by the corona crisis can also benefit from the SME growth subsidy. After all, exploring new markets or re-examining the supply chain as a result of the coronavirus can be accepted as a 'pivotal moment'.
Switching to e-commerce is another example of a pivotal moment. Companies are now developing web shops, social media and digital ads on a large scale, to offset the decline in sales via physical outlets. Seeking outside advice about online marketing strategies or recruiting a digital marketing specialist, for example, are costs that are eligible for partial funding through the SME growth subsidy.
Moreover, since the introduction of the corona measures, almost twice as many applications for SME growth subsidies have been submitted as in the same period last year, as VLAIO recently reported in a press release: 94 applications were submitted between 16 March and 27 April, compared to 53 in 2019. Flemish Minister of Economy Hilde Crevits said: "Flanders is a leader in innovation and development of new products. In these difficult times, you can see that our companies take a creative approach to developing products and tools that will help us in this new life."
If your company has also come up with a creative solution to deal with the corona crisis and has taken a new course, please feel free to contact our subsidy expert. After all, chances are that your company is also eligible for the SME growth subsidy.