The Bulgarian Development Bank, with the guarantee of the European Guarantee Fund, has launched programmes in support of the most severely affected businesses by COVID-19. The funds are intended for the hotels and restaurants sector, tourism, the congress- and exhibitions sector, retail, transportation, artistic and creative activities, sports, pre-school education in the private sector.
Working capital and credit lines up to a maximum of 48 000 leva will be granted for a grace period of up to two years. Credit requests can also be submitted online on the website of Micro Financing Institution Jobs – the subsidiary of BDB, which will manage the funds.
The European Commission allocated additional 428 million Euro to two research and innovation programs, with the funds being intended for projects related to COVID-19.
328 million Euro have been allocated for individual scholarships under the Individual Fellowships Programme. It provides opportunities to researchers of any nationality to acquire and transfer new knowledge and to work on research and innovation in Europe (EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries) and beyond. It also provides opportunity for training, international and intersectoral mobility.
100 million Euro will support the COFOUND grant scheme which aims to stimulate high achievements in the training of researchers, their mobility and career development. COFOUND will co-fund new or existing regional, national, and international programmes to open up to and provide for international, intersectoral, and interdisciplinary education in the sphere of scientific research, as well as transactional and cross-sectional mobility of researchers at all stages of their career. A detailed description and information on the conditions and the submissions process can be found here.
The Fund of Funds Mobilised BGN 400 million in Response to the Economic Consequences of the Crisis, which are intended to reach the target groups of final recipients via financial intermediaries and banks, in the form of guarantees, loans and equity investments, and to help companies face the economic consequences of the crisis.
A brand-new guarantee product will provide liquidity support to small and medium-sized enterprises operating in various sectors, including those most affected by the crisis, such as tourism, transport, wholesale and retail trade, etc. The enterprises will be provided with working capital in the form of long-term loans of up to 10 years, without any additional administrative burden for the loan applicants, under the most simplified conditions possible, negotiated with the bank institutions. The possibility for interest-free loans to be offered to businesses that retain their staffing levels from before the crisis is also being considered.
Another part of the funds will provide support to self-employed individuals and small startups with a very short or no business track record, including those launched by vulnerable groups – people with disabilities, young people aged 29 or less, etc.
This is a facility for granting concessional loans, including without any collateral, to target groups of final recipients who usually have no access to bank financing due to a lack of credit history. The aim of the instrument is to retain employment levels by supporting small businesses, including those run by self-employed persons. The instrument is up and running and the loans are extended via the Fund’s financial intermediaries in all of the 28 districts of Bulgaria. Eligible enterprises could receive up to 50 000 leva in working capital loans, funds, and investments.