60% of SMEs request the 12,000 euros of the Digital Kit

The economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, during the presentation of the Digital Kit. / moncloa

Some 60,000 medium-sized companies have already signed up for the program to go digital, but many freelancers are not even aware of its existence

Lucia Palacios

Companies, whether they are medium, small or very small, must go digital to prosper and survive in a context of so much uncertainty. With this objective, the 'Digital Kit' program of the Ministry of Economic Affairs was born, endowed with 3,000 million euros and which aims to promote the digital transformation of the Spanish business fabric by taking advantage of European funds. According to data from the National Technology Observatory, only 14% of SMEs have a digitization plan.

How much money are we talking about?

12,000 euros. An amount with which companies can promote a transformative plan that allows them to grow (99% of companies in Spain are SMEs) and expand. A website that gives the company an international presence and allows it to sell in any corner of the world, improve social networks that promote the business, manage customer relationships online, improve decision-making processes with analytical tools, automating repetitive processes that make the company more efficient, digitizing invoices or providing companies with cybersecurity tools for their employees' computers and mobile phones are some of the solutions that the program allows.

Who is responsible for installing all these solutions?

The so-called 'digitizing agents', which are companies that are dedicated to this type of function and have passed a series of filters established by the ministry to be the mediators between the digital bonus and the requesting companies.

From Red.es they explain that so far there are more than 7,300 digitizing agents, who are already in contact with the beneficiary companies of the Digital Kit to provide them with digitization solutions for their business.

Who can sign up?

In the first call – which was launched on March 14 and has a budget of 500 million euros – companies with between 10 and 49 employees are the ones that can start applying for their bonus. A month ago the aid began to arrive and the 12,000 euros have already been granted to some 8,000 companies, confirm from Red.es. But there are many more who have requested it. Specifically, 60,000 companies have requested this Digital Kit so far, approximately 60% of all SMEs with between 10 and 49 employees in Spain.

The province where a higher percentage of SMEs have filled out the application is Soria, where 70% of all SMEs of this size have requested the bonus. The case of Palencia, Lérida, Burgos and Teruel also stands out, all above 55%. This week the general director of Red.es, Alberto Martínez Lacambra, assured at an informative breakfast that this is "a unique opportunity" for SMEs, and highlighted the "zero paper" philosophy of the program so that companies are encouraged to request the AIDS.

And the rest of the companies?

The aid will gradually reach all small businesses, although the amounts will vary according to size. For companies with between three and nine workers, the bonus will be 6,000 euros, and those with less than three workers will receive 2,000.

Pedro Andueza, director of the Technical Office of the ATA Digital Kit, explains that reaching the self-employed will be "more difficult" because "they cannot lose two days of work to present the documentation", so the association will facilitate the process of request.

The dates have not been finalized yet. The second segment of aid for companies with 3 to 9 employees was scheduled to come out in June, but could be delayed until July. The safest thing is that the bonus for those with less than 3 workers will arrive in October. Andueza reminds that they are calls that will come out again next year and can be requested again for a digitization service that has not been completed. "The goal is for us to reach a third of SMEs," he says.

The president of ATA, Lorenzo Amor, highlights that the problem with this bonus is that one in four self-employed workers "has no idea what the Digital Kit is", despite the fact that the program plans to reach a million of them. "We have to make efforts because it is an important program for the digitization of our business fabric," warns Amor. The ATA survey reveals that only 20% of the self-employed plan to request this aid, 55% do not consider it and the 25% were unaware of this bonus.

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