Safeguarding and Creating Employment Package

Safeguarding & Creating Employment SME Grant Scheme in the Turkish Cypriot community is managed under the European Union funded Innovative Entrepreneurship project and is developed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The focus of the scheme is providing financial and capability support to SMEs so they can sustain operations in the short term and plan for growth.

The proposed ‘Safeguarding & Creating Employment Support Package’ (€7.2m fund) is delivered in two phases on a competitive basis and targets the following sectors: industry/manufacturing, and business-to-business services.

In line with the specific objective of Phase 1, which has been completed, 770 SMEs were supported to safeguard and/or create jobs. On the other hand, Phase 2 in which the application process is ongoing until 6 September 2021 (15:00 Cyprus time), will support c.100 SMEs for growth. It is expected to safeguard current employment levels and create new jobs through a package of support.

The scheme is financed by the European Union and managed by Northern Ireland – Cooperation Overseas (NI-CO), in cooperation with the ‘Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry’ (KTSO), ‘Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce’ (KTTO), ‘Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Shopkeepers & Artisans’ (KTEZO), ‘Turkish Cypriot Investment Development Agency (YAGA) and ‘European Union Coordination Centre’ (EUCC) within the scope of the ‘Innovative Entrepreneurship and Dialogue’ project implemented by NI-CO and financed by the European Union.

Within the scope of the first phase of the Safeguarding and Creating Employment Support Package, 1,500 Euros was allocated for each eligible business with 2 to 15 employees including the director (s).

Phase II will support circa 100 SMEs in the industry, manufacturing and business to business services sectors. Eligible SMEs will be required to demonstrate that they meet the scheme criteria and their potential to retain staff, engage new staff, develop new market/products for growth, develop and/or diversify and be mindful of the EU investment priorities for employment in innovation, digitalization and green economy. The support available to eligible SMEs will be up to a maximum value of €60,000.