At the end of the call for proposals for the ‘E-Commerce Model Covid-19’ measure, the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) has received 1,670 applications requesting more than EUR 69 million of EU investment. There has been no such number of applications per call in the history of LBSA.

The call for proposals lasted one month and had a budget of up to EUR 40 million. The applicants could apply for between EUR 10,000 and EUR 50,000 to support projects aimed at introducing information technology to manage business transactions electronically to increase revenue growth. Projects will be selected by a call for tenders in one stage.

According to Aurimas Želvys, Director of the LBSA, more than 1,600 companies have taken the opportunity to apply for a significant share of funding to implement e-commerce models, without which it is hard to imagine a successful business in the period of overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘The popularity of the instrument is primarily due to the business understanding that digitisation of business processes and customer innovation are the most important components to be visible in the market. Another circumstance is that the pandemic situation is still ongoing, and for many companies EU financial support is a real salvation’, says Želvys.

The Head of the LBSA assures that the Agency is ready to assess such a flow of applications. ‘We have had a number of challenges that our staff have coped with well, and we will overcome this one as well, so that the necessary funds reach the business as quickly as possible,’ notes Želvys.

The expired instrument supports the deployment of e-commerce models in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by reorienting and digitising processes through customer self-service systems on product and service e-commerce platforms, including production and service order management, and through the integration of a resource management system into product and service e-commerce platforms.

Sigita Skrebė, Head of Business Productivity Projects Division of the LBSA, points out that applications were received from all counties. The most active applicants were from the cities of Vilnius (870 applications), Kaunas (428), Klaipėda (152) and Šiauliai (72), while the lowest number of applications was received from Utena and Tauragė counties – 15 each.

Companies operating in the fields of restaurants and catering, travel agencies and tour operators, advertising, entertainment and recreation, computer programming, motor vehicle maintenance and repair, hotels, wood cutting and planning, medical services and many others are planning to implement e-business models.

The project activities will have to start no later than within one month from the date of signature of the project contract and will have to be implemented for a maximum of one year.

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