New Plan Aims to Bring High-Tech to Periphery

The Maalot-Tarshiha city hall. (Wikipedia)
The Maalot-Tarshiha City Hall. (Wikipedia)

There are numerous programs to encourage businesses to open facilities in peripheral areas, but for the first time the Ministry of Finance – now headed by Moshe Kachlon – is targeting high-tech companies. The Ministry has allocated NIS 60 million for incentives to large companies, which do NIS 100 million or more in business annually, to offer residents of peripheral areas high-salaried jobs.

Speaking to Calcalist, Amit Lang, director general of the Ministry said that previous programs had been impeded by demands that 90 percent of the workers in facilities in the periphery be local residents – and companies had been able to find enough local talent to qualify for the grants. The new program lowers that level to 60 percent, a much more attainable goal, he said.

Especially welcome are companies in the high-tech and cybersecurity fields. “I know there are not yet many cybersecurity firms that do NIS 100 million in business a year,” said Lang. “We set that level in order to ensure that the companies we work with will be around for the four years that the progam runs.”

The state will provide assistance to pay workers hired in the program as well. In the first year of the program, the state will pay 40 percent of a worker’s salary, with that number falling to 35 percent in the second year and 25 percent in the third.