Subventions to the Slovenian Wood Processing Companies in 2016–2017

In 2016–2017, the wood industry enterprises will be able to get the first 3 million euros of subventions from the European funds. Subventions are allocated for 14 companies selected by the Slovenian Regional Development Fund in the course of the summer tender procedure. The funds may be used to support the high value-added products and services.

The tender procedure started in July under support of the Regional Development Fund and the Ministry of Economy of Slovenia. In total, 5.88 million euros were allocated for 2016–2017, the major part of which will be transferred to the enterprises from the eastern regions of the country. About 3.5 million euros of this amount are provided for the year 2016, and 2.38 million euros — for the year 2017.

The purpose of the tender procedure is to support the production and services with high added value and energy efficiency. “We focus on the creation of new jobs, but at the same time understand that the preservation of existing ones is a priority,” the Fund Director Velislav Žvipelj said at a press conference in Ljubljana.

Prior to the application deadline, on 29 August, the Fund received 58 applications, 38 of them were sent to the enterprises from the east of the country, 18 — to those from the west.

The Fund approved 14 projects: 8 applicants from the eastern regions of Slovenia will receive 2.1 million euros during two years, 6 enterprises from the western regions of the country will obtain 935 thousand euros. One of the already approved participants withdrew its application because it failed to receive a bank loan.

Chosen Novelties

The Fund has approved several novice projects. Among them, there are the Mizarstva Medved brand furniture, the chaise lounges of the Evostil Company, the fireproof furniture manufactured by the private entrepreneur Janez Forštnarič, the club tables by the Kljun International Company, the mobile homes with an organic design from the Lester Company, and the “smart” furniture by the Alples Company.

Each company will be able to receive from 50 to 500 thousand euros. The companies that have successfully passed the tender for the earmarked funds allowed for the year 2016 will receive them by the end of this year, and the funds provided for the year 2017 can be paid in several instalments.

Successful enterprise-contestants from the Eastern Slovenia predict the opening of 39 new job positions and an overall increase in added value by 57.5 thousand euros, while the subvention recipient enterprises of the Western Slovenia do not promise new vacancies, but still predict an increase in the added value by 37 thousand euros.

The Fund will monitor how the enterprises comply with the required conditions. One of the conditions is that the product should enter the market during two years after the project completion.

The projects rejected by the Fund will be able to participate in the following tenders. The sum of 3 million euros is only the first subvention of a total of 20 million euros of earmarked funds allowed for the current fiscal period to cover the needs of the wood processing industry in Slovenia. “Any remaining funds will be distributed within the coming years,” Žvipelj promised.