Employment calls for incentives to boost traders’ and craftsmen’s associations

The delegate for Employment, Enterprise and Self-Employment, Amós García Hueso, today reported on the call for incentives to encourage trade and craft associations, promote and boost small businesses and crafts. “We have a provincial budget of 151,573 euros to facilitate the work of support and promotion of trade and crafts carried out by trade and craft associations, and to improve the competitiveness of Open Shopping Centres and the revitalisation of city centres and municipalities,” he said.

Amós García explained that this call “is a clear commitment to trade and craft associations” and recalled “the importance of trade in the Almeria economy, with nearly 11,600 companies that account for 19% of all companies in the province, 14,400 commercial establishments and 66,000 people employed in this sector, more than 20% of the total number of workers in the province. Trade, together with the hotel and catering industry, transport and storage, contribute more than 3,131 million euros to the provincial economy, 21% of Almeria’s GDP”.

According to Amós García, the call for proposals includes three lines of action, with grants of up to 50,000 euros: the first is aimed at promoting associations among commercial and artisan companies, the second focuses on actions to boost trade both in open commercial spaces and in street markets and food markets, and the third supports initiatives to promote craftsmanship.

Applications can be submitted in the virtual office of the Regional Ministry of Employment, Enterprise and Self-Employment from today until 13 June. The call is open to traders’ and craftsmen’s associations and organisations promoting Open Shopping Centres in the province.

Amós García explained that “these incentives are included in the comprehensive plans for the promotion of trade and crafts approved by the Ministry of Employment” and explained that the first is endowed with 92.8 million, 47% more than in the previous plan, and that “its objectives are to promote the growth and consolidation of the sector and increase its competitiveness through digitalisation and greater environmental awareness, as well as to promote lifelong learning in trade”.

Amós García highlighted “the new line to promote entrepreneurship and business continuity, with incentives to create companies or information pills on entrepreneurial culture and generational change” as well as incentives for advertising campaigns, trade fairs and actions to boost and promote local trade and for the modernisation of commercial SMEs. In addition, he detailed that support will be given to association projects to give visibility to small businesses and to promote Open Shopping Centres, municipal markets and street markets.

“As part of the actions to promote Andalusian trade, the Andalusian Trade Day will be held, the Andalusian Trade Awards will be promoted, shopping areas will be revitalised and shopping tourism, rural trade and wholesale trade will be encouraged, as well as promoting meetings and awareness-raising campaigns on trade in Andalusia,” announced García Hueso.

“We are also going to promote the integration of ICTs to open up new marketing channels and encourage actions to protect the environment and reduce energy consumption in commerce,” he said, with cybersecurity measures and the ‘For Safe Commerce’ working group, “as well as incentives for digitalisation for associations, commercial SMEs and town councils, so that commerce in all its formats makes the definitive leap into the digital world. The plan includes aid for technological solutions projects for sustainability and energy efficiency and training actions “to keep workers constantly updated on technological improvements, e-commerce, new sales techniques, etc.”, he reported.

As for the IV Integral Plan for the Promotion of Andalusian Crafts, Amós García indicated that “it is endowed with 14.45 million and its objectives are to encourage competitiveness through training, business dynamism and the modernisation of the sector and to make progress in administrative simplification”. It includes a study of the sector’s training needs and training actions; qualification in ICT, e-commerce, marketing and business management and waste management; introductory courses to the craft trade; the promotion of the figure of the apprentice in craft workshops through alternating training contracts, to facilitate generational replacement; and collaboration with the National Reference Centres, such as the Fines Marble School for the stone sector, and with the training activities of the Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage.

In addition, the crafts plan includes “incentives for the self-employed to start up in this activity and for artisan SMEs to digitalise, renew their equipment and make progress in energy efficiency. Crafts will also be brought closer to students, the entrepreneurship of craftswomen will be encouraged and we will draw up an inventory of trades in danger of extinction with actions to pass on these activities to the next generations”, added Amós García, who stressed that “in line with the Junta’s strategy of administrative simplification, the sector’s procedures and regulations will be reviewed, updating the repertoire of craft trades and creating a new application for the Crafts Register”.

The plan will also boost the visibility and internationalisation of crafts through geographical indications for industrial and artisan products, and to this end it contemplates aid for the purchase of promotional material or supplies for artisans. In addition, the Crafts Awards, the Andalusian Crafts Congress, conferences and exhibitions and the European Crafts Days will continue to be organised, and crafts routes and an interactive map of the areas and points of interest in crafts will be created, as well as promoting the ‘Andalusia, quality craftsmanship’ and ‘Master craftsman’ labels.


Actions by trade and craft associations eligible for support

Within line 1 of incentives for trade and craft associations, support will be given to actions aimed at promoting associations and strengthening cooperative relations between trade and craft companies belonging to the association, such as conferences and congresses, workshops and training activities, information and awareness campaigns, studies on trade and crafts, digital modernisation projects and the publication of magazines and catalogues.

Within line 2, incentives are provided for actions to stimulate and promote retail trade in Open Shopping Centres, street markets and flea markets, such as campaigns to stimulate trade and customer loyalty in shops, flea markets and street markets; campaigns to encourage consumption through ‘Acá’ vouchers; projects to improve commercial space; actions to signpost shops; and the design and updating of the image and identity manual of Open Shopping Centres or flea markets.

Line 3 encourages actions to encourage and promote crafts, such as the organisation of fairs and other promotional events and the sale of craft products; the purchase of elements to apply the promotional brand ‘Crafts made in Andalusia’; the design and publication of magazines and catalogues; actions to stimulate and promote crafts; the creation of digital spaces for the knowledge and enhancement of the sector; campaigns to encourage consumption with ‘Acá’ vouchers; and external signage actions.

The grants can reach 50,000 euros in the lines of commercial dynamisation and promotion of crafts, and 40,000 euros in line 1 of support for traders’ associations. The minimum amount of the incentives is 2,000 euros. If they are equal to or less than 6,000 euros, they will be advanced in full, while for higher amounts, 50% will be advanced and the rest will be paid once the entity has justified the implementation of the subsidised project and the expenditure incurred. The period of execution of the projects runs from 1 January to 31 December 2024.

ACÁ vouchers encourage the consumption of commercial and craft products in small shops, open shopping centres and street and food markets. They consist of a voucher that the customer can redeem when making purchases in establishments belonging to the traders’ and craftsmen’s associations that take part in this programme. For each purchase of at least 50 euros, the customer will receive a discount of 20 euros. Each association can apply for a certain number of vouchers that can be used in their different promotional campaigns.

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