Date: 12.11.2020

Source: Bulgarian Industrial Association

Readed: 804

The interim results of the annual survey of BIA show that only one percent of the companies have shown interests in the anti-crisis measures financed by the Bulgarian Development Bank (working capital up to BGN 300,000), 4% are still exploring the possibilities of the program, and for 27% the measure is inapplicable.

The data was presented by the Chairman of BIA Radosvet Radev during an online meeting organized by the Ministry of Economy with the representatives of the employers' organizations. The purpose of the meeting was to report on the progress in the implementation of economic measures by the Ministry of Economy and to discuss proposals of employers' organizations for new measures to overcome the negative effects of COVID-19.

Minister Lachezar Borisov participated in the meeting on behalf of the Ministry of Interior Affairs. Representatives of the Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB) and the Fund for Financial Instruments in Bulgaria Fund (Fund of Funds) also took part in the discussion. On behalf of BIA, in addition to Mr. Radev, the meeting was attended by the two Vice Presidents of the Bulgarian Industrial Association - Stanislav Popdonchev and Maria Mincheva.

In the course of the conversation it became clear that at the moment BDB has signed contracts with 8 partner banks, and there are 874 confirmations for loans worth BGN 113 million out of a total of BGN 500 million available resources. The new thing is that large enterprises will now be able to benefit from the measures through BDB, and the lending thresholds have been increased: for SMEs - up to BGN 1 million, and for large enterprises - up to BGN 2 million. BDB provides a guarantee at the rate of 80% of each confirmed credit.

Regarding the measures stemming from the Fund of Funds, BIA’s representatives stressed that they expect rapid adaptation and clarification of the instruments, which for now remain unclear to most businesses.

During the meeting, the participants also discussed the measures under the Operational Program "Innovation and Competitiveness":

So far, 21 190 project proposals have been approved and BGN 172.7 million have been paid by the “3/10” measure (free of charge for micro and small enterprises from BGN 3 to 10 thousand). The companies, which have been rejected due to non-presentation of documents, can now expect improved notifications for additional over-negotiations.

Regarding the procedure for medium-sized enterprises (BGN 30-150 thousand) it became clear that the technical and financial evaluation will be completed within a week, after which the procedure foresees an additional week to form a final evaluation. After that, all winning candidates will be invited to sign a contract and will be given 30 days to submit their documents. After the expiration of this term, within two weeks, the contracts will be signed.

The Ministry of Economy also presented two new procedures, which will start by the end of this month:

The procedure for liquidity support of small enterprises with a turnover of over BGN 500,000 for 2019 is expected to open in ten days. The application period will be 20 calendar days. The positive thing for the business is that the funds will be paid immediately upon concluding the contract, in advance, fully.

The procedure for adapting the activities of SMEs in the conditions of the coronavirus is currently being prepared and it is also expected to start by the end of November, after which it will be possible to apply for it within 30 calendar days.