Grant scheme for the digital transformation of local shops and neighbourhood restaurants

Through the Department of Trade, Restaurants and Consumer Affairs, Barcelona City Council is launching a grant scheme with a €1 million budget for the digital transformation of local shops and neighbourhood restaurants.

The economic support is among a set of measures implemented jointly by the Department of Trade, Restaurants and Consumer Affairs and Barcelona Activa, which also includes the required advice to create a digitalisation plan and access to a training catalogue with over 50 online courses. 


What is the aim?

The Covid-19 situation has shown how important it is for Barcelona’s small businesses and restaurants to also operate online. So, to continue to improve establishments’ digital maturity and ability to meet citizens’ new needs, Barcelona City Council’s Department of Trade, Restaurants and Consumer Affairs has launched a grant scheme with a total budget of €1 million to help the city’s commercial fabric and the restaurant industry make the leap into the digital world. 


Who is it aimed at?

Grants under this scheme can only be applied for by: 

  • Individual retail establishments.
  • Municipal market stalls. (All other collective retail establishments are excluded).
  • Individual trade establishments providing one of the following services:
      Mechanical repair workshops and services
      Photography and audiovisual services
      Photocopying and print shops
      Repair services
      Retail travel agencies
      Dry cleaners and laundries
      Hairdressers and beauty salons
      Ready-made food and catering services
      Bars and restaurants
      Veterinary clinics with a shop

These trade establishments must have ground floor and/or on-street premises in Barcelona city, and their business address must be in the province of Barcelona.


What does it include?

Expenses eligible to be included in the grants will be categorised as follows:

  • Category 1: Gaining a basic or extensive online presence. This includes the creation or renewal of websites, from profiles to social media, and Google My Business; the creation of digital content; the installation and configuration of data analytics tools and the adaptation of the website to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Category 2: Gaining an active online presence. This includes online marketing services such as the development of a digital marketing plan, online advertising campaigns, search engine positioning and website and social media analytics. It also includes digital communication services, such as the creation of digital content or the management and publication of content on the Internet or social media (community manager) and via email (newsletter).
  • Category 3: Transformation of the establishment into e-commerce and restaurant services. In general terms, this includes the digitisation of products, online sales using existing platforms, the implementation of online sales, and integration with the establishment’s information systems.
  • Category 4: Digitisation of the establishment’s processes. This includes digital billboard systems, computerised management systems and warehouse management.

The grant will be for up to 50% of the cost of the project, with a €6,000 cap per application. The remaining cost must be covered by the applicant, either directly or with co-funding from third parties (public or private, national or international entities).


What are the deadlines?

The period for submitting applications is 30 working days from the day immediately after the date of final approval of the specific terms and conditions. Period for submitting applications: from 31 March to 13 May 2021.

It should be borne in mind that: 

  • Only work carried out by other companies or professionals will be considered as eligible expenses.
  • The services in question must have been received between 1 January and 31 December 2021, and the invoice dates must be within the same period.
  • Categories are not mutually exclusive. 
  • The following expenses are not eligible:
    • Indirect taxes (VAT and others) and personal income tax (IRPF).
    • The acquisition of capital goods, including goods and chattels. 
    • Wages and social security costs of permanent and temporary staff to be paid by the natural or legal person.


How can I apply?

Application documents must be filed online through Barcelona City Council’s e-office in accordance with instructions provided in this procedures portal. You must have the relevant digital certificate. 

Applicants must submit the following compulsory documents at the time of making the application: 

  • The grant application form, which includes a declaration of compliance and a brief description of the activity for which the grant would be used. 
  • A third party quote including the tax number [NIF], company details (address, telephone number and email address), a description of the service and the corresponding amounts. If on the date the application is submitted the applicant has already paid the expenses incurred inthe implementation period envisaged in this call, they can attach the invoice.  The total or aggregate amount of the quote(s), with no direct or indirect taxes added, is the amount that must be entered in the “total expenditure for the project” field of the application form.
  • Certificate or document proving your tax registration status with the Tax Agency (registration in the Register of Business Owners, Professionals and Withholding Parties, application for a tax identification number or changes to your tax situation).
  • Original bank details certificate duly signed by the applicant and signed and sealed by the bank.  
  • If the applicant is a natural person, a photocopy of their Spanish national identity document (DNI). If the applicant is a legal person, a photocopy of their NIF (card showing their tax identification number) and a photocopy of the Spanish national identity document (DNI) of the representative of the legal person.



What requirements must be met?

Beneficiaries must meet the following conditions and requirements:

  • Legal persons must be legally established and actively operating. Natural persons must comply with the legal requirements for carrying out a professional activity.
  • They must have justified any grants previously awarded by Barcelona City Council.
  • Before the grant has been definitively awarded, they must certify that they are up to date with their tax and refund obligations with Barcelona City Council, its affiliated bodies, the Spanish Tax Agency, and the Social Security Authority.
  • They must not be in any of the situations making them ineligible for grants under Article 13 of Law 38/2003, the general law on grants and subsidies (Official Gazette [BOE] no. 276 of 18/11/2003).
  • They must never have been subject to final administrative sanctions or adverse final sentences for having engaged in, or tolerated, discriminatory practices on the grounds of sex or gender or under Law 17/2015 of 21 July 2015 on effective equality between men and women.
  • They must comply with EU legislation on de minimis aid (Regulation (EU) 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013 regarding the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), which stipulates that the total amount that can be received in aid may not be more than €200,000 in any three-year period. This limit shall apply to all “de minimis” aid received by the beneficiary regardless of origin, form and aim.
  • They must carry out, in the opinion of Barcelona City Council, a lawful activity that does not involve discrimination, infringe people’s dignity and equality, foster violence or infringe on human rights, and they must not engage in any illegal, harmful, dangerous or nuisance activities.
  • The amount of the grant, either on its own or added to other national or international grants or public or private aid, may not exceed the total cost of the activity to be carried out by the beneficiary.
  • The person signing the application must be authorised to represent the company.