Do you know what the real options for receiving funding from programmes related to the measures taken against COVID-19 are? We have prepared for you an updated overview of which funding programmes are available for entrepreneurs and what their current status is:
COVID II programme
The first round of applications for the COVID II Guarantee Programme, intended for small and medium-sized enterprises outside Prague, closed on 3 April 2020 at 11:59 p.m. The Českomoravská záruční a rozvojová banka (Bohemian-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank, ČMZRB), as the provider of guarantees in this programme, is now in touch with individual applicants and is evaluating the applications. By the end of May 2020, CZK 10.6 billion of guaranteed loans had already been approved. The next round will be announced on a date decided by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Who the programme is for:
- Only for small and medium-sized enterprises (no more than 250 persons either their annual turnover must be below EUR 50,000,000 EUR or their annual balance sheet total below EUR 43,000,000) from outside Prague (their production facility must be outside Prague; headquarters may be in Prague).
Parameters of the COVID II programme:
- The Bohemian-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank will guarantee loans from CZK 10,000 to CZK 15,000,000
- The guarantee that is provided will cover up to 80% of the commercial loan
- Applicants will also be able to draw a financial contribution of up to CZK 1,000,000 to pay interest (if they arrange an interest-bearing loan)
- The duration of the guarantee is three years
- The guaranteed commercial loans can be used exclusively to cover operating expenses (salaries, rent, power supplies, invoices from suppliers, material, stock, etc.).
COVID Plus programme
This programme is sponsored by the Ministry of Finance together with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Exportní garanční a pojišťovací společnost, a.s. (Export Guarantee and Insurance Company, EGAP).
After approval by the European Commission and further specification of the detailed conditions by the corresponding act and government regulation, the programme was launched on 5 May 2020. The Covid Plus programme is intended for large employers whom it helps maintain the liquidity that they need to keep their operations going and for the development of export companies. The government has already allocated the first CZK 4 billion for assistance provided through guarantees. The programme’s total insurance capacity is CZK 330 billion. The programme was developed in coordination with the banks who will be evaluating the applicants.
Who the programme is for:
- Applications may be submitted by companies in which the proportion of total sales of exported goods and services in 2019 was at least 20%; this includes production deliveries to other exporters
- For companies with at least 250 employees (also applies to economically connected groups)
- The programme is not intended for companies which were in existential difficulties before the state of emergency was declared.
- Neither is it available to companies whose primary economic activity consists of services in transport, accommodation, tourism or gambling.
Parameters of the COVID Plus programme:
- The guarantee can also be provided for loans used for operations, working capital, refinancing or restructuring of a current loan or investment
- Guarantee period: three years for working capital loans and up to five years for investment loans
- The maximum limit for the loan is 25% of total annual sales of products and services in 2019 (CZK 5 million – CZK 2 billion)
- EGAP will cover the principal up to 80%.
Following up on the COVID II programme, the ČMZRB launched the COVID III programme. The program was approved on 18 May 2020 and CZK 150 billion was set aside for it. The program is intended for self-employed and for entrepreneurs with up to 500 employees, whose economic activities are limited due to the coronavirus infection and related preventive measures. Loans are provided by cooperating commercial banks. The entrepreneur therefore applies in the form of a loan application to a bank that has a portfolio guarantee agreement with ČMZRB for the COVID III Program.
Who is the program for:
- For self-employed and companies with up to 500 employees in the Czech Republic, including Prague
- The applicant does not postulate other public support, de minimis aid for the same guaranteed loan and the guaranteed loan must not be supported by a directly managed European Union instrument,
- The applicant does not apply for support in the COVID Plus program
Parameters of the COVID III programme:
- The warranties offered are as follows:
- Up to 90% of the principal of a guaranteed loan for companies with up to 250 employees
- Up to 80% of the principal of a guaranteed loan for companies with 250 to 500 employees
- The maximum amount of the guaranteed loan may not exceed CZK 50 million
- The duration of the warranty is max. 3 years
- The agreed maturity of the loan may not be before 1 January 2021, with the exception of loans agreed for an indefinite period.
What can a guaranteed loan be used for?
- Reimbursement of operating expenses (wages, rent, energy, supplier-customer invoices, materials, supplies, etc.)
- Acquisition of small tangible or intangible assets
- Acquisition and financing of supplies or materials.
To provide guarantees from ČMZRB and EGAP, it is first necessary to contact the bank that confirmed its participation in the program with an application for a loan!
- The list of participating banks is available on the ČMZRB and EGAP websites, but it is assumed that all commercial banks that finance entrepreneurs will be involved.
What to watch out for?
- When financing wage costs with a loan guaranteed by ČMZRB, it automatically disqualifies applicants for participation in the Antivirus program
- Applicants at ČMZRB may also not draw public support within the COVID Plus program
- Similarly, applicants for a guarantee from EGAP may not use another instrument of public financing support linked to the Covid-19 pandemic (provided in the form of loan guarantees or interest rate subsidies).