The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) held a State Aid workshop at Advantage West Midlands today.
This is one of a series of workshops being held across the UK and is the first since 2002. The workshops are being held now
- To raise awareness of state aid
- To explain the new block exemption rules that were introduced in 2008
- To illustrate how the EU has adopted a new activist approach to enforcement
- To clarify the new state aid schemes that have been introduced since the downturn
State aid is aid granted through state resources which may include taxation and the National Lottery. It must benefit a defined group that engages in economic activity. There is a set of rules governing state aid.
The new block exemption, the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) was introduced as part of a wider review into EC funding. It means that under the GBER companies do not need to fill in lots of paperwork and wait for months for a project to be approved by the European Commission. Instead, they can obtain funding under certain categories, such as de minimis and helping businesses in the downturn, via local business agencies, such as Business Link.