Grants for smaller shops are now available. / SALVADOR SALAS

New grants up for grabs for owners of small shops and craft sellers

Almost one million euros has been set aside by the Junta - partly supported by EU funds - to help these types of operations in Malaga province

JUAN SOTO

The Junta de Andalucía has launched a programme of grants to help owners of smaller-sized retail businesses as well as crafts workshops. Almost one million euros has been set aside - partly supported by EU funds - to help these types of operation in Malaga province to modernise and improve competitivity. Five million is up for grabs across the entire region.

A grant application, if approved, could cover up to 100 per cent of a planned investment. If the amount needed is under 6,000 euros, the full amount will be paid up front, otherwise it is half at the start and half on completion.

Projects should fit into one of two streams: those designed to improve the use of new technology in the business, with special emphasis on encouraging online sales or ecommerce.

Here the maximum help is 6,000 euros or 12,000 if there are more than one premises.

The second stream is aimed at modernising the business to attract new customers, with grants between 15,000 and 26,250 euros. This could include refurbishment or new furniture.

Firms can apply for both streams of the programme.

To apply, limited companies, self-employed or workshops should already be registered correctly as retailers (or equivalent register if selling crafts).

The period to apply for a grant ends on 1 March and the form can be found at this link.