ZAGREB, 11 January (Hina) – The European Commission has approved about €202 million (HRK 1.53 billion) aid scheme to support companies of all sizes active in the sports and tourism sectors affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission reported on its website on Monday.
“Companies active in the tourism and sport sectors have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus outbreak. This Croatian scheme will facilitate these companies’ access to liquidity in these difficult times and will help ensure the continuity of their economic activity. We continue to work in close cooperation with Member States to find workable solutions to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, in line with EU rules,” Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager was quoted as saying.
The programme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework and its main purpose is to assist eligible companies to gain access to liquidity and to preserve the continuity of their economic activity.
The support will be granted in the form of guarantees on new working capital and investment loans, and subsidised interest rates for new loans.
“The aid in the form of subsidised interest rates for new loans will not exceed €800,000 per undertaking,” the EC says.
“With regard to the aid in the form of guarantees on new working capital and investment loans, it either does not exceed €800,000 per undertaking, or (i) it relates to new loans with a maximum maturity of six years; (ii) the coverage of the guarantee is limited to 90% of the loan principal or to 35% in the case of first-loss guarantees; (iii) it provides for minimum remuneration of the guarantee; and (iv) it contains adequate safeguards to ensure that the aid is channelled effectively by the financial intermediaries to the beneficiaries in need.”
The support will be granted until 30 June 2021 at the latest and only to companies that were not considered to be in difficulty on 31 December 2019, with the exception of micro and small companies that are eligible even if already in difficulty on 31 December 2019, the EC said in its press release.