EC endorses Romania’s plan to help SMEs affected by COVID-19 outbreak

The European Commission (EC) has allowed Romania to run a RON 16 billion (EUR 3.3 bln) scheme designed to support local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the context of the coronavirus outbreak, according to Romania-Insider.com.

Most of the sum represents state-guaranteed bank loans. The  guarantee fees and the interest rates that the state will actually pay will cost the budget some EUR 161 million for a total volume of EUR 3.1 bln guaranteed loans, according to government officials.

The European Commission has found the measures proposed by the Romanian Government to be in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.

The support under the scheme will be accessible to SMEs facing difficulties as a result of the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Under the scheme, the Romanian Government will finance grants to SMEs and will guarantee bank loans extended to SMEs for investments and working capital.

The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on March 19, 2020, as amended on April 3, 2020.

The size of the scheme (EUR 3.3 bln), according to previous statements of the Romanian Government officials, includes the grants disbursed to SMEs and the total volume of bank loans contracted by SMEs for covering their investment and working capital needs.

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