FINANCE

Few companies join Gefyra 2

Corporations and self-employed professionals appear skeptical about loan subsidy program

few-companies-join-gefyra-2

The Finance Ministry is set to grant an extension of a few weeks to the deadline of the “Gefyra 2” program that subsidizes the tranches servicing crisis-hit companies’ and freelance professionals’ loans for a period of eight months.

The deadline for applications is this Monday, May 10, but Kathimerini understands the decision has already been made and will be announced after the definitive data regarding the number of enterprises and the amount of loans included in the program.

The latest available data show that up until Friday 26,000 corporations and freelancers had applied to enter the loan subsidy program. That figure is much lower than the original estimates of banks, which had put the number of eligible beneficiaries at 100,000. However, a reliable assessment concerning whether the number of applications is satisfactory or not relates also to the amount of loans concerned, as the budget of the subsidy program amounts to 300 million euros.

Ministry sources say that the moderate participation to date, compared to initial expectations, is attributed to the fact that a significant number of enterprises and mainly freelancers are reluctant to enter the program due to the obligation that their taxation and bank secrecy be lifted. There have also been difficulties on the part of accountants, who have set as a priority for their clients their inclusion in the program for cheap state loans (Deposit To Be Returned) in late April, as well as their meeting fixed tax obligations such as the submission of value-added tax data for enterprises.

A necessary condition for inclusion in the Gefyra 2 subsidy program is a proven drop in turnover of 20% or more in 2020 compared to 2019, and the inclusion in one of the support measures taken to contain the economic effects of the pandemic’s restrictions.

The program is open to enterprises and professionals that service their loan obligations to banks as well as those that have delayed payments, though the subsidy is higher for consistent bank clients.