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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case BG-2021-23/1928 – measures in Bulgaria

"Fund of Funds": access to loans for recovery

Програма за възстановяване "Фонд на фондовете"

Country Bulgaria , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 04 June 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Tsetomila Sabcheva and Luboslav Kostov (Citub) and Eurofound
Case created 02 July 2021 (updated 13 July 2021)

Background information

The government have introduced a new recovery program "Fund of Funds". The purpose of the program is to give businesses access to loans to help with the resumption of activities after the gradual abolition of COVID-19 protection measures. This allows businesses to gain access to financial resources to meet current liquidity needs, for new investments, transformation and growth.

Content of measure

Those eligible to benefit from the recovery program are small and medium sized Bulgarian enterprises.

The program incudes:

  • Wide access to business loans without material security requirements and unsecured credit, except for personal guarantees provided by the owners.
  • Potential to obtain approval and opportunity for absorption in a short time.
  • Opportunity to negotiate a 12-month grace period.
  • Deferment of payment up to 84 months.
  • Ensure maximum possible clarity and minimize the administrative burden for the client.
  • Opportunity to receive funding up to BGN 3 million.

Financial intermediaries for the program are: Tokuda Bank, First Investment Bank, Unicredit Bulbank, Raiffeisenbank, Postbank, UBB and DSK bank. The status of the measure is currently active and there is no deadline (until the funds run out).

The budget for this measure is BGN 157.9 million of public resource funds. The source of these public resource funds are: Operational Program "Innovation and Competitiveness" 2014 - 2020, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

The funds were redirected from the financial instruments "Small Business Financing" and "Portfolio Guarantees with a Loss Ceiling for Energy Efficiency and Innovation.

Use of measure

At the moment there is no data on how many companies can or have an interest in using this resource. The first data will probably be available by the end of the third quarter of 2021.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
European Funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

The measure was not consulted with the social partners, either formally within the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation or informally in the form of tripartite or bipartite meetings. The social partners were simply informed of the cabinet's intention in this direction. The main correspondence and exchange of remarks was through the media.

Views and reactions

Business organizations did not support the measure, as they demanded more grants and grants at the expense of loans. According to their analyzes, at the moment there are enough credit lines on the Bulgarian market for which there is no demand. In addition, the affected SMEs will not meet the requirements of commercial banks, thus not having access to finance for those most affected. Only companies that are good customers and that do not have difficulties anyway will have access. The unions also did not support the measure and demanded more grants and fewer loans.

Sources

  • 04 July 2021: Правителството обяви нови мерки за подкрепа на бизнес (www.economic.bg)

Citation

Eurofound (2021), "Fund of Funds": access to loans for recovery, case BG-2021-23/1928 (measures in Bulgaria), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.