EC approves Bulgaria's 40 mln euro support scheme for coronavirus-hit small companies

EC approves Bulgaria's 40 mln euro support scheme for coronavirus-hit small companies

The European Commission (EC) said it approved under the State aid Temporary Framework Bulgaria's 78.2 million levs ($48.9 million/40.0 million euro) scheme to support small enterprises affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Through the scheme, to be co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, Bulgaria will be able to back local small companies with direct grants of 50,000 levs, the Commission said in a statement published on Wednesday.

The scheme will be accessible to small enterprises active in certain sectors, with an annual turnover of at least 500,000 levs in 2019, which experienced a coronavirus-related decrease in turnover of at least 20% year-on-year over three months since February 2020.

The aim of the measure is to help beneficiaries overcome the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak and maintain employment.

According to the Commission, the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state.

"The Commission found that the Bulgarian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid will not exceed the ceilings per company set out in the Temporary Framework; and aid under the scheme can be granted until 30 June 2021," it noted.

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