Business Promotion Activities by the ERP Fund: An Empirical Evaluation
The ERP Fund is the main source of direct business promotion at federal level in Austria. In its support activities for firms of the manufacturing industries it focuses on three programmes: regional, technological development, and promotion of small and medium size enterprises. It operates through loans granted for investment projects at an interest rate below the market rate, handling about 200 projects per year. During the investigated period, the share of financing provided through the ERP Fund rose on average from 35 percent to almost 55 percent of the total costs of supported investment projects. For the period 1992 to 1995 the effects of ERP grants were analysed for a sample of supported and non-supported businesses based on seven corporate performance indicators: growth rate of sales and employment; productivity – defined as sales per employee; ratio cash-flow to sales; ratio of equity to total assets; ratio of fixed investment to sales; ratio of costs of external funds to sales. The data were derived from the balance sheet database established by the Austrian Central Bank. According to this analysis, firms that received assistance from the ERP Fund performed significantly better than non-supported firms in terms of employment and investment.
Empirische Bewertung der Fördertätigkeit des ERP-Fonds; Business Promotion Activities by the ERP Fund: An Empirical Evaluation
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