ECONOMY

Battered companies to receive more assistance

battered-companies-to-receive-more-assistance

The government is considering making part of the new assistance to enterprises a grant rather than a loan. This will be in the context of the fourth phase of the cheap loans to corporations known as the “Deposit To Be Returned,” which concern some special categories of companies.

According to a Finance Ministry source, these categories will include enterprises in areas where the state has imposed local lockdowns, as well as sectors that have suffered a particularly heavy blow, such as culture and exhibitions.

Alternate Finance Minister Thodoros Skylakakis spoke in Parliament on Wednesday about the enterprises in areas that have been ordered into lockdown. He said “a significant share” of the support that companies will get in those areas in the context of the program’s fourth phase will not have to be repaid.

That share of the assistance to enterprises in those categories will be determined soon and its issue will not depend on the conditions that applied in the previous phases of the cheap loans program for special grants. The share of the fourth phase that constitutes grants will be increased compared to that in the first three phases, while the repayment terms for the share to be returned to the state will be even more favorable for enterprises, with a grace period until the end of 2021 and repayment in 40 monthly installments with a low interest rate.

In its fourth stage, which will begin in November, the program will distribute 600 million euros. In its three previous cycles it has provided the market with a total of €3.5 billion, with the third still ongoing and expected to distribute about €1.5 billion by mid-October. In total over 165,000 have applied and those deemed eligible will submit a formal application to receive the cash.

According to what Minister Christos Staikouras told Parliament on Monday, the fourth phase of the program will incorporate the areas hurt without taking account of the reduction in turnover or the use of a till by each individual enterprise.

Skylakakis also told Parliament that the next four to six months will be difficult, as the wait for a vaccine continues.