Local artisans applaud the new 150 million euro financing project which may just be the region’s much awaited catalyst for creativity. Such an ambitious financial initiative comes to the rescue after a long lag period affecting the Tuscan economy, especially artisans all over the region. This new financial plan, called ‘Bond Toscana’ and sponsored by the Unicredit Bank and Artigiancredito, is meant to spur increased investment in small business and aims to help small companies improve productivity, employee training, re-structuring and re-balancing. Regional director of the Unicredit Bank, Sebastiano Mussi, stresses that this financing project is ‘the most important one in all of Italy’.
Official reports confirm that one of the greatest problems facing Tuscan small business has been a stark lack of investment capital. This new plan tackles a historic lack of investment capital by applying interest rates from 0.5 to 1.25 percent, according to the size, needs and merits of each small business. Starting March 2008, artisans and other small businesses will be able to receive a minimum of 15,000 euros and a maximum of 1 million euros in guaranteed financing, which must be repaid over a period of five years. Those interested have until October 31 to apply.