Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB) is expanding the scope and extending the application deadline of its loan guarantee scheme for liquidity support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the coronavirus crisis, the state-owned lender said on Thursday.
The extension of the support scheme follows an approval issued by Bulgaria's Council of Ministers on October 28.
Changes to the scheme envisage support to a larger number of companies active in the sectors worst hit by the crisis, including larger Bulgaria-registered companies - with personnel of over 250, annual turnover exceeding 97.5 million levs ($58.2 million/49.8 million euro) and/or asset value higher than 84 million levs, the BDB said in an e-mailed statement.
The application deadline will be extended by six months, until the middle of June 2021, as the maximum amount of a single loan under the scheme will be raised to 2 million levs.
BDB guarantees 80% of the value of each loan and this percentage remains the same after the approved changes.
The changes can come into force after the approval of the European Commission and after the signing of annexes to the loan agreements with each of the commercial banks part of the scheme, the BDB noted.
So far, as many as 643 applicants, mostly companies active in trade, tourism, manufacturing and transportation, have benefited from loans with a total value of over 90.7 million levs under the programme, BDB said in the statement.