(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The steering committee on implementing the Government’s previous decisions to strengthen Jerusalem, today (Monday), 12 December 2005, approved an approximately NIS 50 million aid package for creating new jobs in Jerusalem. The steering committee was chaired by Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Director-General Ilan Cohen and was composed of representatives of both the Municipality of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Development Authority.

The package will include grants for start-up entrepreneurs who began to work in technological greenhouses in Jerusalem, grants for factories that move to Jerusalem and for new factories that are established in Jerusalem, and rental assistance for high-tech employees who move to Jerusalem.

The goal of the aid package is to develop and strengthen Jerusalem and increase sources of employment in the city by drawing start-up companies and new factories to the city and by encouraging their employees to live in Jerusalem.

The assessment is that the package will create hundreds of new jobs in Jerusalem.  PMO Director-General Cohen said that the goal of the package is to create quality high-tech jobs for both veteran city residents and newcomers.  Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski and Jerusalem Development Authority CEO Ezri Levy praised the initiative.

Grants for start-up entrepreneurs who began to work in technological greenhouses in Jerusalem

These greenhouses will be under the supervision and oversight of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Employment Chief Scientist.  The state will provide NIS 350,000 to new start-up companies in Jerusalem – NIS 100,000 in the first year of activity and NIS 250,000 in the second.  This is in addition to previous grants from the Chief Scientist’s office.

Grants for factories that move to Jerusalem and for new factories that are established in Jerusalem

Annual grants of tens of thousands of shekels for up to four years will be given to new factories in Jerusalem, existing factories that relocate to Jerusalem and factories currently in Jerusalem that seek to expand.  These factories will be at least 250 square meters (or will expand to that size) and will employ at least 10 people, at least 30% of whom will live in Jerusalem.

Rental assistance for high-tech employees who move to Jerusalem

The goal is to increase the number of employed persons living in Jerusalem.  Rental assistance will be up to NIS 1,500 per month in the first year and up to NIS 1,000 in the second.