The deadline for local councils to apply for grants to modernise and promote local commerce is now open.

The province will have more than 216,000 euros divided into two lines; one to promote the improvement and modernisation of infrastructures and the other for commercial dynamisation.

The Regional Ministry of Employment, Enterprise and Self-Employment has published in BOJA ( the call for aid to the municipalities of Almeria to finance actions to encourage the improvement, modernisation and promotion of trade and local crafts, with the deadline for submitting applications being 30 June at 23.59 hours. More than 216,000 euros will be allocated to the province of Almeria between the two lines of aid that are being launched. The distribution of the credit between the functional and territorial areas of competitiveness is as follows: 185,556 euros for the first line and 30,858 for the second.

These subsidies on a competitive basis, which cover 75% of the cost of the initiatives developed, can reach up to 60,000 euros, and the Regional Ministry has provided a budget of 1.98 million euros until 2024 for the two lines of incentives planned.

The delegate of Employment, Amos Garcia, stressed that “in the province of Almeria there are around 12,000 companies in the commerce sector, and in the first quarter of 2023, 8,703 employment contracts have been registered in this sector, which represents 15.18% of the total”. “18.46% of job seekers are in this area, which shows the importance of this sector,” the delegate stressed. “According to IECA data, there are 90,600 people employed in the first quarter of 2023 in commerce and hospitality, hence the relevance that this aid can have for the province of Almeria”.

The objective of this action is to promote associationism and cooperation relations between companies in the retail trade and crafts, in order to achieve an improvement in the competitiveness of both sectors. Thus, support is given to actions to promote and stimulate urban and local trade carried out by traders’ associations, whether in an Open Shopping Centre or in the shopping areas of towns and cities, in municipal food markets or in street markets. They also aim to support the promotion and revitalisation of crafts, through the associations.

In this call for applications, up to 50% of the subsidy is to be paid in advance, except in cases where it is equal to or less than 6,000 euros, which may be paid at 100%, and as a novelty, a second payment of a maximum of 30% has been included at the request of the applicant after partial or total justification of the first payment. The remaining payment up to the total amount of the subsidy will be made once the project and expenditure have been justified, as well as the fulfilment of the purpose.

Line 1

Another of the novelties introduced in the current call for applications is the differentiation of two lines of aid in which the eligible actions are reclassified. And in the event that the subsidised activity is aimed at local crafts, it is established that all the material, documentation, information or advertising of the project must include the image of the promotional brand “Artesanía hecha en Andalucía” (Crafts made in Andalusia).

The first of the two lines of aid has a budget of 1.69 million euros to “promote investment in the improvement and modernisation of infrastructures and the digital transformation of local commerce and crafts in the municipality”.

Within this section, investment projects are subsidised for the improvement or modernisation of food markets or urban commercial spaces; the physical adaptation of spaces and infrastructures and the provision and improvement of facilities and services for itinerant trade; digital transformation actions in all formats, or local crafts, through municipal assistance and advice services for commercial and artisan entities or municipally-owned online trade platforms; equipment or furniture such as smart lockers to manage the custody of purchases made, whether commercial or artisan; the implementation or maintenance of permanent exhibition spaces for the promotion of artisan production; and the installation of identifying signage.

Strategic planning line

Line 2 is financed with 283,747 euros for actions aimed at promoting strategic planning and the revitalisation and promotion of retail trade and local crafts. Subsidies are provided for the preparation of Strategic Municipal Trade Plans or their revision or updating; advertising campaigns; the organisation and development of trade fairs and craft fairs or other promotional and marketing events; and revitalisation actions.

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