Cyprus Mail

Cabinet approves subsidies for rural SMEs

Constantinos Petrides

The cabinet on Thursday approved an interior ministry subsidies scheme to help small and medium businesses in rural areas and rejuvenate the countryside by creating jobs.

Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides said his ministry would be setting aside €2m for small businesses in the countryside willing to invest between €120,000 and €800,000. The maximum subsidy will be €200,000.

“The cabinet today approved a scheme that is being approved for the first time, to use interior ministry funds for subsidies to small, very small, and medium businesses in the countryside,” the minister said.

The funds will be shared out to small tourist accommodations, restaurants, taverns, coffeeshops, or other activities linked with nature, culture, tradition, and entertainment.

Hotels of any category have been excluded.

Through the scheme, the ministry wants to promote Cypriot products and traditional Cypriot hospitality but in a manner that will allow the creation of new jobs.

The cash can be used for maintaining and refurbishing listed buildings or ancient monuments to host new enterprises or to upgrade existing business activities.

Petrides said the government has earmarked €175m for countryside projects between 2018 and 2020.