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

Factsheet for measure NO-2020-13/727 Updated – measures in Norway

State guarantee scheme for loans to businesses

Statlig garantiordning for lån til små og mellomstore bedrifter

Country Norway , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 27 March 2020 – 30 June 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound
Measure added 19 April 2020 (updated 04 February 2022)

Background information

State guarantee scheme for loans to small and medium-sized businesses is a measure aimed at companies and the business sector and have as its main objective to improve liquidity during the period of loss of income. The liquidity situation for large parts of the business community is under pressure as a result of measures taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in society. Temporary measures are needed to provide the business community with the necessary liquidity to get through the crisis. On 2 April it was decided that the scheme also will be open the scheme to larger companies, including companies with more than 250 employees.

Content of measure

The scheme means that the state guarantees 90 per cent of the amount in new loans of up to NOK 50 million. It is the banks that operate the scheme, and even grant loans to their loan customers. The scheme applies to loans up to NOK 50 million per company and with a maximum of three years maturity. It applies only to new loans that are granted after the legislation has entered into force and until 1 June 2020. The scheme was intended for companies with up to 250 employees and with less than €50 million in sales, but has been extended to cover to larger companies with more than 250 employees. The state guarantees 90% of the loans under the scheme. Losses should be distributed proportionately (pro rata) where the state and the bank take 90 and 10% respectively. Loans that have already been granted cannot be transferred to the scheme. The scheme is regulated in a new law, and further provisions on which loans will be covered under the scheme will be specified in regulations. The scheme is approved by ESA.


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

14 December 2021

On 14 December 2021, the government announced that it has decided to reintroduce the state guarantee scheme for bank loans to companies. Under the scheme the state guarantees 90% of the amount in new bank loans to companies that are facing an acute lack of liquidity as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus. The maximum term of guaranteed loans under the scheme is six years, including any extensions. The total guarantee framework is NOK 50 billion (€5 billion). The Ministry of Finance aims for the scheme to be open to new loans until 30 June 2022, unless developments indicate that it should be closed earlier. The proposals require a decision in the parliament. The government will present a proposition to the Storting in January 2022.

Use of measure

According to Export Finance Norway (Eksfin) , the state guarantee scheme for loans to businesses has a total budget of NOK 50 billion (€5 billion). By 29 December 2021, loans have been granted to a total of 4294 companies under the scheme, with a total of 75,276 employees, spread over 296 municipalities and 460 industries.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses 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 Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Social partners have been consulted regularly during the design and implementation of the measure.

Views and reactions

The social partners are supportive of the measure.



Eurofound (2020), State guarantee scheme for loans to businesses, measure NO-2020-13/727 (measures in Norway), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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