The government is planning to introduce a new instrument for the support of larger enterprises than those bolstered by the cheap state loans program after the fifth phase of the “Deposit To Be Returned,” scheduled for January.
This is an instrument based on the European Union regulation pertaining to the coverage of fixed corporate expenditure which was suspended or heavily affected as a result of the pandemic.
Finance Ministry sources say the measure may include companies employing up to 250 staff and with a turnover of 50 million euros and no single payment above €3 million. This compares with the annual turnover limit of €800,000 for businesses benefiting from the Deposit To Be Returned. While these limits could be modified, the idea is to support companies with many employees.
According to the EU regulation, the support is granted to enterprises that suffer a drop in turnover amounting to at least 30% in a given period compared to the same period in 2019. Greece will certainly introduce its own, national criteria, on which the ministry is currently working.
That support could be granted by June 30, 2021 at the latest, and cover expenditure from March 1, 2020 till the end of next June that is not covered by the companies’ profits or any other support they may have received.
The degree of state support cannot exceed 70% of the above expenditure, with the exception of small and very small enterprises, where the coverage rate can reach up to 90%. These limits are the absolute maximum, and the government may well set the ceiling lower than that, depending on the market’s needs and the capacity of the 2021 budget. For now, next year’s budget has a special reserve for tackling the consequences of the health crisis amounting to €3 billion, part of which will finance the fifth phase of the cheap loans program.
This new instrument will form part of the government strategy for the final phase of the pandemic, for supporting companies teetering on the brink of closure and for preserving as many jobs as possible.