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Open the second section of the digital kit, help valued by trade unions and employers

This Friday opens the period for companies with three to nine employees to apply for help from the Digital Kit, a government program to support the digitization of small and medium-sized businesses, paid for by European recovery funds. In this second stage of the plan, the maximum amount of bonds is up to 6,000 euros, which can be used for various purposes, from creating and updating the company’s website, implementing electronic invoicing or cyber security systems. The call will last for one year.

Help for companies with three to nine employees comes five months after the opening of the first term, which will cover small and medium-sized businesses with 10 to 50 employees. Since March, about 70,000 companies in this segment have applied for assistance, which is more than 50% of the total number. About 22,000 have already received the bonds, a share of €252 million. The application period for this first part of aid will be extended for a few more days, until September 15.

Until now, the achievement of the digital set is the acceptance of social agents. “It’s very useful,” they say from Adigital, the Spanish association of the digital economy linked to CEOE. “Consequent stages of digital kit support are very welcome,” agrees the UGT. “The deadlines for granting digitization vouchers are adjusted, the incident resolution and correction procedures were flexible, and the program had a good impact on small and medium-sized businesses in our country,” they reflected in DigitalES, another reference employer. this sector.

Both unions and employers, yes, are asking the executive to use the program as the basis of a long-term strategy, not as an isolated support.

“It would be desirable to go beyond basic digitization,” says Maria Lazaro, a spokesperson for Adigital to this media. “It’s time to start thinking about what’s next for the digital kit program.” The challenge is to achieve long-term structural change that goes beyond specific aid. For this reason, it is important to establish a monitoring method that will allow us to measure the results of the program, its usefulness and its real impact on the productive fabric. Giving a bonus is useful, but SMEs need to understand how they can benefit from digital tools for their company,” he adds.

Most of the companies that will be eligible for bonuses are in segments with fewer workers, both the three-to-nine that opens this Friday and the zero-to-three that comes next. They will also receive a large part of the funds: the second tranche is considered 500 million euros, for 252 investments, which were so far in the first. The total budget of the program is 3,027 million, with which more than 2,000 will be available for small SMEs.

“It remains to be seen what opportunities these companies have to take advantage of e-commerce or a presence in, for example, social networks,” Lazaro asks. From this employer, they offer “accompaniment” to this SME, so that the effect of the funds does not disappear in a short time. In contrast, UGT emphasizes the importance of training.

“We risk that this huge investment in new technologies will not have an adequate return from a competitive point of view, if it is not accompanied by measures to train workers”, emphasizes José Varela, Head of Digitization at UGT. “Introducing e-commerce, data analytics or cloud computing to our SMEs will be of little use if the people who are going to use them don’t have the necessary skills,” he says.

In this sense, the trade union recalls that only 2.4% of the companies targeted by this second phase of the digital set have trained staff in 2021. “Either companies realize that they need to train their workers in line with the government’s plan for digital skills, or we risk that much of this investment will be underutilized or even wasted,” warns Varela.

“We have noticed that some small and medium-sized businesses have started to ask for their help from the digital set, without a concrete plan or a clear idea of ​​what to allocate the money to,” they agree at DigitalES.

“Logically, the disruption of digitalization of small companies is a complex challenge that will not be solved overnight,” they continue from the employers’ association: “For this reason, we consider it essential to monitor all the public influences that have. Reaching out to the digital suite, as well as all the digital pushes that the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to have, to amplify the ripple effect that large companies can have in our country.”

The new section of the digital set is configured in the same way as the previous one, although it contains some changes. One of them is the inclusion of a “voluntary representative” figure who is empowered to “facilitate the availability of assistance as far as possible”. As explained by, the entity that manages the digital suite attached to the Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence (Economy), these “duly authorized” delegates will be able to request assistance on behalf of the company and speed up the process for SMEs.

For the same purpose, companies will also be able to “request assistance without any documentation.” “It will be enough for the employer to give the right to provide the above-mentioned consultation on the requirements and obligations necessary to obtain the beneficiary status,” the public company reports.

Some changes have also been made to the aid targets. The money in SME website vouchers can be used to upgrade the company’s current portal, not just to create a new domain, as was required before. Assistance aimed at creating a “market” or “extended Internet presence” is also a follow-up to this call, which was not considered for the first tranche.

“Ahead of the second call, the government clarified several points that raised many questions during the previous call and is expected to continue to improve speed. In addition, from now on, the digital set will be able to pay for solutions that integrate hardware.” They note from DigitalES. “The success of this semi-automated aid management model to handle the massive volume of applications will, in fact, be extended to other aid in the recovery plan. Among them, the following Activa programs for advice on digitization,” they recall.

The only way to apply for digital kit grants is online Acceleration of small and medium businesses. This is the official portal through which all plan assistance is provided. It is necessary to register and complete a self-diagnosis test on the level of digitization of the company, “which does not take more than 10 minutes”, explains

After that, you need to choose one or more of the digitization services available in Acelera pyme and request assistance through the e-office. This is provided through “digital companies” attached to the program. There are more than 8,700 that offer their services in this way. “Grants are non-competitive and are issued directly and on a first-come, first-served basis, after verification of compliance with the requirements of the call,” the public company recalls.

Source: El Diario





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