European Commission okays EUR 77 Mln state aid grant for high unemployment areas in Bulgaria

The European Commission said on 6 June that it has approved the reintroduction of a EUR 77 million Bulgarian regional aid scheme to support investments into manufacturing activities by small and medium-sized enterprises in high unemployment areas.

Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of a corporate income tax exemption to support initial investment projects by SMEs, such as setting up a new establishment, increasing the capacity of an existing establishment, product diversification or a fundamental change in the production process of an existing establishment.

The scheme targets Bulgaria’s municipalities with unemployment rates that are at least 25% higher than the national average. The maximum amount of aid per beneficiary will be 50% of the eligible investment costs, except for 25% in the municipalities in the Yugozapaden Planning Region, the Commission said.