Ways to encourage and support entrepreneurship on the Greek islands at the top of the agenda for talks between the Deputy Minister of the Navy Ioannis Pappas and the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE) this week.
ESEE representatives briefed Pappas on the challenges faced by businesses on the Greek islands and the vast potential. The meeting also focused on ways in which the ministry and ESEE could work together in this direction, which includes improving the so-called ““equivalent transport” program which offers special discounts for transport of goods and people for island residents and qualifying businesses.
President of ESEE Georgios Karanikas underlined the importance of formulating a comprehensive policy focused on the overall upgrading of the Greek tourism product as the main source of wealth for island economies and provides solutions to specific local problems while using the production potential of each island individually.
Karanikas called for a special development plan for businesses in small Greek islands and incentives for private sector investment aimed at boosting island entrepreneurship.
Among other things, ESEE asks:
– the designation as “tourism businesses” of businesses that make more than 50 percent of their turnover over the period June-September
– reintegrate a 30% reduced VAT rate on islands, as foreseen by a relevant European directive
– improve the current »transportation equivalent» aimed at reducing the cost of transporting passengers and goods
– the introduction of a special State aid regime not covered by the ‘de minimis‘clause.
“Our priorities are to create a sense of security for Greek islanders and entrepreneurs so that they can and want to invest in their island under appropriate conditions and know that the State is at their side to support small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurship,” said the Deputy Minister of the Navy Ioannis Pappas.
Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019, the government had announced its intention to extend the equivalent transport program has air travel to facilitate the transport of goods and people to/from 49 isolated Greek islands.
It should be noted that island residents or businesses can apply for the second phase of grants under the “Metaforiko Isodynamo” program until August 31, 2023 here.
Follow GTP headlines on Google News to keep up to date with all the latest news on tourism and travel in Greece.