Small and medium-sized textile, clothing and footwear firms are being encouraged to apply for funding from Italy's Industry Ministry to help them produce new collections and increase their competitiveness.

The financial aid is aimed at small enterprises with an annual turnover of up to 7 million euros and medium-sized companies with an annual turnover less than 40 million euros.

According to a report in Il Denaro there are four types of support: funding to cover 25 per cent of the project's cost to a maximum of 75,000 euros; a 1 per cent interest rate loan of up to 75,000 euros to cover 25 per cent of the project's total cost; an extended bank loan at half the standard interest rate up to 150,000 euros; and up to 90,000 euros financial aid covering 30 per cent of the project's total cost.