The “COVID-19 Business Guarantee Fund” was created to support businesses’ access to loan capital, through the provision of guarantees, in a portfolio with a ceiling. The aim of the fund is to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the operation of companies, by enhancing their liquidity with working capital loans.
The total available funds of the three cycles of the Fund amount to 2 billion euros (1 billion euros from the first cycle, 780 million euros from the second cycle and 220 million euros from the third cycle of the Action). For the guarantee of the guarantee supply, the financial contribution of resources up to 250,000,000 euros is maintained through the Public Investment Program.
The loans will be granted to small, medium and large enterprises, no later than 30/06/2022 and are expected to reach 2.5 billion euros in the second round and 500 million euros in the third round.
Under the first cycle, loans of over 3.5 billion euros were approved and granted. The total amount of loans and the three cycles that companies will receive will exceed 6.5 billion euros.
For the A & B cycle of the Action, the resources of the Fund are co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Greek State, part of which comes from the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (EPANEK) 2014-2020.
The third round of Action is funded by the Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic – React EU.
See the Frequently Asked Questions – Answers for the third cycle of the COVID-19 Business Guarantee Fund there
All companies operating legally in Greece, except:
- of the countryside,
- holding companies in other companies,
- financial sector companies,
- public bodies and their subsidiaries,
- of local authorities and their subsidiaries,
- not to be considered “problematic” on 31-12-2019. If the company (regardless of size) was in trouble on 31-12-2019 and has taken corrective action before submitting a request for funding, it is possible to receive assistance through the Provisional Framework for State Aid. Especially for Micro and Small Enterprises, regardless of whether they were in trouble on 31 December 2019 they should not have been subject to collective insolvency proceedings under national law and should not have received rescue aid or restructuring aid,
- have been set up by the time the application for financing is submitted to the bank,
- be considered creditworthy, in accordance with current credit policy and internal procedures of credit institutions,
- be bank informed (have a debt <90 days) on the date of application or on December 31, 2019,
- there should be no grounds for exclusion of article 40 of law 4488/17 (A 137/139/17) (fines, sanctions for violations by the competent auditing bodies of the Labor Inspection Body for violations of labor legislation),
- no recovery order for a previous illegal and incompatible state aid is pending under an EU or WEU decision.
For companies that have joined previous programs of the Hellenic Development Bank, either those that have expired or those that are in force, a basic condition is that they have not shown adverse transactional behavior in the repayment of their debts. In the event that they have previously engaged in adverse transactional behavior, they must have repaid their debts in full before submitting the application for financing.
Eligible Loans should have the following characteristics:
- Loans that will be concluded until 30/06/2022.
- The purpose of granting the Loans will be the Working Capital.
- Loans (including non-convertible P / D) with a maturity of up to five (5) years including any grace period.
- The Loans will concern new business financing.
- Refinancing / repayment of existing loans and credit lines, financing of a dividend or share purchase program and financing of Acquisitions and Mergers are prohibited.
85% of the new loans of the 2nd cycle are addressed with absolute priority to medium, small and very small enterprises of the country that have been affected by the economic effects of the pandemic, while the loans of the 3rd cycle are addressed exclusively to Very Small Enterprises with turnover up to 1,000,000 euros and a maximum loan amount of up to 250,000 euros.
There is no threshold in the requested loan amount
The maximum amount that a company can request is as follows:
- Double the annual salary costs of the Company (including social security contributions, as well as the cost of staff working on the premises, but officially included in the payroll statements of subcontractors) for 2019. In the case of Businesses created after January 1, 2019 , the maximum loan must not exceed the estimated annual salary cost for its first two years of operation, or
- 25% of the total turnover of the Company during the year 2019 or
- Following documentation and justification and a plan determining the liquidity needs of the beneficiary, the loan amount may be increased beyond the above limits I and II to meet the liquidity needs from the date of the loan and for the next 18 months for the Small and Medium Business and the self-employed for the next 12 months for Large Business.
Loan interest rate
The interest rate of the Loans is borne by the Borrower and can be agreed fluctuating or fixed and will depend on the pricing policy of each partner XO, taking into account the mechanism of transfer of the benefit of the guarantee to the Final Recipient.
The provided Guarantee concerns new loans that will be granted until December 31, 2021. The term “grant” means the time of disbursement of these Loans. The guarantee covers the loan throughout its duration and until the full and complete repayment of each debt under the loan. The warranty is for five years. The claim for forfeiture, however, can be submitted until 31.12.2027, if the delay event has occurred until 31.12.2026.
The provision of the guarantee paid by the companies is fully subsidized in the three operating cycles of the Fund, subject to the limitations of state aid. The state aid scheme covered by the three rounds of the Fund is the “Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures to Support the Economy During the Current Outbreak of COVID-19”
Beneficiary of the Action
Hellenic Development Bank (EBA)
The requests of the companies are first submitted to the electronic platform www.ependyseis.gr and after the finalization of the submission, the companies submit their financing requests for evaluation to the cooperating Banks – Financial institutions.