Over the years, the catering sector has been one of the central pillars of the Greek economy. In the previous community support frameworks, it had been observed that the rate of appearance of invitations was low, with the result that several companies wished to upgrade their units, but this project could not be made possible.
During the NSRF 2014-2020, several subsidized programs concerning the catering sector were announced.
With the emergence of covid-19, in addition to the established investment programs, capital subsidy programs appeared, which usually subsidized 100% of the company's expenses, up to the limits set by the respective program.
With the launch of the new NSRF, an increase in the rate of announcement of subsidized programs is expected in order to strengthen entrepreneurship and competitiveness in the catering sector.
In more detail:
According to the NSRF 2007-2013, the only series of invitations that could tend to the part of focus, always in accordance with the corresponding KAD 56, is the series of entrepreneurship support programs with emphasis a) on women, b) on young people, and subject of activity the secondary KAD 56.21 Activities of catering services for events. The budget ranged from €80,000 to €200,000, with a Public Funding rate of 50-60%. The program aimed to facilitate - through financial support - the establishment of new businesses by the unemployed (Women's Entrepreneurship & Youth Entrepreneurship), in almost all sectors.
With the start of the NSRF 2014-2020, there was a need to publish investment programs to strengthen both catering and other sectors. A program that was the trigger for subsidizing the catering sector, in all their activities, was: "Trade-Catering-Education Entrepreneurship Toolbox". It concerned Small and very Small businesses, the budget of the project should be from €10,000 up to €150,000 and the subsidy in 50%. Businesses such as restaurants, taverns, cafes, steakhouses, kebab shops, pizzerias, bar restuarants, entertainment centers, patisseries etc. could join and consequently be subsidized. The present program could subsidize the renovation of the store, the supply of new equipment and means of transport, advertising & staff salary costs.
Also included in the above framework are:
- OAED programs with subsidized unemployment positions. Salary cost coverage. It's about the unemployed
- OAED investment programs for the creation of businesses through a subsidy of €14,800 in three installments. It's about the unemployed
- "Strengthening the establishment of businesses in the Peloponnese Region by the unemployed", which concerns the establishment of business activity in the catering sector as well. Subsidy amount €14,800, disbursed in 3 installments.
- "Strengthening under establishment and existing, Very Small and Small Enterprises of the South Aegean", concerns an amount of up to €100,000.
After the emergence of covid-19, the first businesses to be affected were those of catering and retail trade. Therefore, drastic measures were taken to boost the activities by announcing working capital subsidy programs. Some of the programs announced are the following in brief:
- Supporting businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – Invitations throughout Greece (amounts vary by regional unit)
- Emergency grant of the most affected by the pandemic entertainment businesses, organization of events and exhibitions, event catering, provision of gym services and dance schools, with a grant amount of up to €400,000
- Support of small and very small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Thessaly – ANASA II, with a grant amount from €2,000 and a maximum of €7,000
- Subsidy of interest on existing loans of small and medium-sized enterprises affected by the measures to deal with the pandemic of the COVID-19 virus, 100% loan interest subsidy for the months of April, May, June
- Refundable advance payment (Small and medium-sized enterprises, regardless of their legal form, that legally operate in the country whose Activity Codes (KAD) are included in the list of those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic)
- Working capital with a two-year interest rate subsidy due to the COVID-19 pandemic from TEPIX II, 100% interest subsidy for two years for loans up to 500,000 euros for working capital
- Special purpose compensation to support businesses due to the emergence and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Allowance of 800 euros for the period from 17 March 2020 to 30 April 2020
As well as the publication of investment programs:
- Grant for catering businesses for the supply of outdoor heaters, with a grant amount of up to €5,000
Within the new NSRF 2021-2027, with its financial resources, announcements of new actions are expected, both for the provision of working capital to catering businesses, and for their strengthening/upgrading, through the processing of investment projects.