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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 IT-2020-12/468 Updated – measures in Italy

Guarantee fund for SMEs

Fondo di Garanzia per le piccole e medie imprese

Country Italy , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 17 March 2020 – 17 December 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Lisa Dorigatti (University of Milan) and Eurofound
Case created 10 April 2020 (updated 04 January 2021)
Related ERM support instrument

Background information

Decree Law No. 18/2020 of 17 March 2020 introduces temporary exception with reference to the current operating rules of the Guarantee Fund for small and medium enterprises. This measure was undertaken in order to enhance the role of the Fund in supporting businesses affected by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (art. 49). The measure is taken by the government within a bundle of other measures to support businesses to stay afloat during the crisis.

Content of measure

Art. 49 of the Decree Law strengthens the intervention capacity of the Guarantee Fund for small and medium enterprises by introducing temporary exceptions from its current operating rules. In particular, the Decree Law provides that for a period of nine months from its entry into force:

  • the guarantee is granted free of charge;
  • the maximum guaranteed amount per individual company is heightened to €5 million;
  • the coverage of the guarantee is 80% (90% in case of reinsurance) on all operations of financing with a maximum guaranteed amount of up to €1.5 million.

To finance the above measures, the Fund's allocation has increased by €1.5 billion. The eligible companies are the ones classified as small and medium enterprises according to the EU legislation, provided that they don't have, at the date of publication of the Decree Law, non-performing exposures.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

13 October 2020

The Government through Law Decree No. 104 of 14 August 2020 (art. 64) has foreseen annual increases of the financing for the Guarantee Fund for small and medium enterprises amounting to:

  • €3,100 million for the year 2023.
  • €2,635 million for the year 2024.
  • €1,600 million for the year 2025.
15 April 2020

See case IT-2020-15/636 for redefinition and extension of the measure.

Use of measure

To finance the above measures, the Fund's allocation has increased by €1.5 billion. With this additional allocation (in the case of 80% coverage of all transactions) the Fund could favor the granting of new loans for approximately €55 billion (amount that it would drop if the coverage percentages increased to 90%).

Target groups

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

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


Social partners were not involved.

Views and reactions

Social partners were not involved in the decision making process.



Eurofound (2020), Guarantee fund for SMEs, case IT-2020-12/468 (measures in Italy), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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