“The Ministry for National Economy will be launching a 10 billion forint (EUR 32.7 M) open tender to fund job-creation investment projects by micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, beginning on 1 August”, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga announced in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI.
“The funding could result in the creation of 5000 new jobs at 1100-1200 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in addition to supporting the preservation of some 10 thousand existing workplaces”, the Minister announced.
Mr. Varga said that in addition to reinforcing the SME sector, the tender would also lead to a reduction in regional imbalances, allowing disadvantaged regions to catch up and local economies to gain strength.
“Achieving full employment requires the tangible support of the SME sector, because although Hungary’s unemployment rate is very low by European standards, it is something we still cannot be satisfied with”, the Minister highlighted. “Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises is important because they represent 99 percent of the businesses operating in the country, in addition to which they employ over 70 percent of working Hungarians”, he explained, adding “This is why the Government is handling the situation of SMEs as a priority, as technological developments and both EU and domestic funding can enable these enterprises to gain strength, which in turn will lead to a further improvement in their competitiveness and the competitiveness of the country”, he added.
“Thanks to the new programme, SMEs will be able to procure new equipment and machinery, amongst others, and the funding may also be spent on purchasing property or paying rent”, the Minister said. “The job creation funding may be provided under the umbrella of regional development funding or de minimis funding, and could be as much as 1.5 million forints in the case of a non-registered job seeker. In addition, businesses will receive 500 thousand forints for each agency worker and 800 thousand forints for each new staff member employed within the public works scheme for a period of 12 months, as well as 400 thousand forints in supplementary funding for each new job created in disadvantaged districts or settlements”, the Minister explained.
“Employers will have to undertake to continue to maintain and operate the capacities and services realised as a result of the funding in the region for a period of 3 years following the completion of the investment project”, Mr. Varga stressed. “Employers must also undertake to maintain the average number of staff employed at the company during the 12 months prior to submitting its tender application, and to continue to employ the increased number of staff for a continuous period of at least two years”, he added.
The tender for the job market programme will be launched on 1 August 2017 and will close on 15 September 2017. Beneficiaries must complete the funded investment project no later than 30 September 2018. Information on how to apply for funding and the conditions of the tender will be provided by the local government office relating to the location of the investment project.