Since 2013, SMEs have facilitated the rental of offices in buildings built with European money. ESOP is the sole agent
Facilities include providing reception, security and protection, free integrated IT services, access to a copy center, and fully equipped meeting and training rooms by building owners who have accessed European funds.
- About the program
- Which companies can be included in the special rental conditions for SMEs
- What free facilities and services are offered to SME tenants
I. About the program
In Bucharest, five office buildings have available for rent or pre-rent spaces co-financed with European money, through the program Priority Axis 4 “Supporting the development of the regional and local business environment,” developed by the Ministry of Local Development and Tourism, with the primary condition that a particular share of the resulting office space to be transformed into business incubators, respectively to be rented only for small and medium-sized companies, including start-ups. The long-term objective of this program is to create business support structures to attract investments and sustainable economic development and reducing the unemployment rate.
“It is a real opportunity for Romanian SMEs to rent the headquarters in such a center for business development and support. According to a European Commission study, there are 23 million SMEs in Europe, which are considered the “sap” of sustainable development, because they have created 80% of new jobs in the last five years.
We believe that in Romania, business support centers for SMEs will have a positive impact on reducing the fixed costs of companies to allow them to invest more in development. We are glad that we are the promoters of such solutions in the market. “, Says Alexandru Petrescu, Managing Partner ESOP Consulting | CORFAC International.
In Bucharest, in the period 2011-2012, seven projects were initially approved, with areas starting from approximately 1,800 sqm to 15,000 sqm, according to the market analysis carried out by ESOP Consulting, the market leader in renting office space for medium-sized companies, and Romanian brand number 1 on the office space market.
Of these, only five remained in implementation, the financing of one of the projects being terminated, and one project being on standby. This year, the first three business centers of this type are being completed, the first leases for SMEs being signed since the end of last year.
- At the first project launched on the market, CSDA Siriului (photo 1), the share of spaces with facilities for SMEs have already been rented through ESOP Consulting to CORFAC International, two months before the reception of the building. The project is located in the Aviation area, 7-8 minutes away from the Aurel Vlaicu metro.
- For the second project, WEST Gate (photo 2), ESOP Consulting | CORFAC International was designated the exclusive broker for renting spaces for SMEs, with a total area of 5,000 square meters, at the end of last week. The spaces for SMEs are available immediately, the building being completed at the beginning of this year. The West Gate Business Support Center offers small and medium-sized businesses, at the beginning of the road or in full development, the opportunity to join iconic tenants among multinationals, including Citibank, Ericsson, Siemens, Accenture, BRD, Alpha Bank, PPD Romania, and many other big names. West Gate, where the 5,000 sq m business support center is located, is an important business park located in the Militari area, near the Pacii subway station, with an integrated residential complex, bringing together nine high-end office buildings of approximately 15,000 sq m each. (which will deliver a total of 125,000 sqm) and four blocks of flats. Along with these functions, the park will offer integrated services for its tenants at a later stage: hotel, conference rooms, restaurants, sports center, benches, kindergarten.
- A third project (photo 3), with a smaller leasable area of 2,350 sqm, is being built in the Unirii-Calea Calarasilor area and will be put into use at the end of 2013. The other two office projects that include available space for SMEs are located in the Mihai Bravu and Floreasca areas.
II. Which companies can be included in the special rental conditions for SMEs
Even if we would be tempted to believe that few companies can meet the rental conditions, at first sight, the truth is that many companies in Romania meet the criteria of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). A potential tenant company must have up to 249 employees, a turnover of up to 50 million euros and assets of up to 43 million euros.
According to Law no. 346/2004, art. 4 are considered SMEs:
- medium-sized enterprises – have between 50 and 249 employees and achieve a net annual turnover of up to 50 million euros, equivalent in lei, or have total assets that do not exceed the equivalent in lei of 43 million euros;
- small enterprises – have between 10 and 49 employees and achieve a net annual turnover or hold total assets of up to 10 million euros, equivalent in lei;
- micro-enterprises – have up to 9 employees and make a yearly net turnover or keep total assets of up to 2 million euros, equivalent in lei.
III. What free facilities and services are offered to SME tenants
Such business centers offer several advantages to potential tenants, namely free access to some facilities such as meeting rooms, fully equipped conference rooms, internet services, fully furnished and equipped kitchens, etc.
Companies that have so far rented space in development and business support centers through ESOP have particularly appreciated the competitive level of rent (for example at West Gate the rent for SMEs is up to 40% lower), the quality particularly ample space and access to various facilities with high added value “, said Alexandru Petrescu, ESOP Managing Partner.
The facilities differ from project to project, depending on the size of the European money funding, which is reflected in the size of the business support center.
For example, the services and facilities provided to SMEs by West Gate are reception, security and protection, CCTV monitoring system, banking services (ATM), broadband network, voice and data IP, cleaning services, elevator, air conditioning system, fire-fighting system, IT services (e.g., networking, maintenance), access to the training/product presentation room, meeting room and organization of networking events.