As of Thursday, most businesses can submit applications to receive state loans through the new support mechanism for enterprises, known as “deposits to be returned,” that will distribute funds of 1 billion euros.
Unfortunately, those companies that express their interest will be somewhat in the dark, as the terms and conditions and the selection criteria will only be made known later on, after the exclusion of enterprises that can benefit from other financing tools. Therefore they won’t know how many companies are interested, the amount they will receive or the eligibility requirements. A Finance Ministry official said that all this will be announced after the end of application submissions on April 10, so that any interested businesses do not modify their financial data in the meantime.
The corporations that can apply are those that employ up to 500 people, on the condition they don’t make any layoffs. They can submit their applications on the myBusinessSupport platform, which will operate on the website of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue.
The same official added that there will be no priority numbers, as all applications will be examined one by one based on the algorithm created. The day after the completion of the application process – i.e. April 11 – the ministry will announce how the funds of 1 billion euros are to be issued, while the amount due will be credited to the recipients’ bank accounts before the end of April. The ministry will set a ceiling on the amount each company will receive.
As Minister Christos Staikouras and his deputy, Thodoris Skylakakis, have stated, the return of the deposit can be total or partial; whether the amount will be returned in part or its entirety will depend on whether each company is sustainable or has become problematic due to the Covid-19 crisis and has failed to meet its obligations: In such cases part of the deposit to be returned will be written off. The payment to the state will come due within five years, with the first year being the grace period.