The terms and conditions for the most favorable phase yet of the cheap state loans program known as the “Deposit To Be Returned” will be announced next week. The fourth phase of the loan issues for businesses will start in November, with the ensuing credit set to reach recipients’ accounts within December.
Any enterprises and freelance professionals participating in this phase will only have to return 50% of the loans to the state if they are active in areas where coronavirus cases have been at Level 4 (such as Kozani and Kastoria) for at least two weeks, while those active in areas where infections have been at Level 3 (currently including Attica, Thessaloniki and many more) for at least two weeks will have to return 70% of the credit they get.
The amount to be disbursed in this fourth stage of the program comes to 600 million euros, while the government has already started making plans for a fifth wave of corporate credit, starting in January 2021; this will again be targeted at companies and professionals in the areas hardest hit by the pandemic and the restrictions that come with it.
The period counting toward the calculation of the loan dues started in August and will last until December. Regional units or islands must have been affected by the pandemic for at least 14 days at any point during that period for their businesses to qualify for the discount. The areas that currently qualify for the 30% discount, having been at Level 3 for at least two weeks, are Attica (all sections, including the islands), Achaia, Zakynthos, Iraklio, Santorini, Ioannina, Karditsa, Kea-Kythnos, Lesvos, Mykonos, Pella, Samos and Trikala. Areas such as Thessaloniki and Serres are about to join them.
The Deposit To Be Returned will be disbursed to enterprises and professionals based on the yearly reduction of their turnover over the period from March to October. Crucially, any employers participating will not be able to lay off any staff until end-January 2021 at the earliest.
There will be a grace period till end-2021 and the dues will be paid in 40 tranches from January 2022.
Meanwhile, according to Finance Ministry data, since the start of the lockdown in late March, enterprises and employees in Greece have received more than €3.2 billion from the state.