The Bulgarian government is launching new loan options for businesses as of April, expecting to allocate up to EUR 600 M to small and medium enterprises, the country’s Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski has said.
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The real implementation of the the new Operational Program SME Initiative is expected to begin in August or September.
Lukarski has noted the minimum credit portfolio is expected to reach EUR 408 M. The first tranche to be disbursed to the country is at a value of EUR 102 M and will come from the European Regional Development fund.
At a press conference marking the beginning of the new program, he has explained the idea is to make loans available to businesses under eased lending conditions by providing guarantees to banks.
Banks working with the government under the operational program are yet to be chosen.
The loans will be granted for a maximum period of ten years, and must be absorbed by 2019 (the funding is allocated under the 2014-2020 budget of the operational programs).
All SMEs engaged in activities other than agriculture, gambling, tobacco, and alcohol are eligible for funding, with those offering innovative solutions and methods being specially encouraged to apply, according to the Minister.
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