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What types of support does EU offer to SMEs to withstand the crisis?
Through its EU4Business Initiative, EU is supporting small and medium businesses (SMEs) in the following 2 areas:
Anti-crisis business support services
advisory and learning opportunities, including sectoral education programmes, trainings and consultations from reputable experts
Access to finance
special credit terms in partnership with selected Georgian banks, as well as grants for SMEs in certain business sectors
Where can I get a credit or a loan?
JSC VTB Georgia
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JSC Credobank
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JSC ProCredit Bank Georgia
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JSC Microfinance Organization Crystal
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JSC Procredit Georgia
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JSC Basisbank
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Bank of Georgia PLC
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JSC TBC Bank
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Where can I get advice for my business?
Online platform for SMEs to identify the problems or challenges they face due to the coronavirus outbreak. Professional team of SavvY Consulting Company, together with partner organizations, will set effective ways to solve their challenges.
Government program to stimulate new enterprises as well as the expansion of existing operations by providing financial assistance to the entrepreneurial community.
A web-consulting platform for SME owners to receive 2-hours of free business consultations about COVID-19 challenges from the experienced field professionals.
The Women in Business programme helps women-led small and medium-sized enterprises to access the finance and the know-how they need to grow.
Mediation and facilitation service to support SMEs to prevent, manage and, if necessary, resolve the disputes regarding their ongoing operations and contractual obligations COVID-19 has caused.
A comprehensive program of supporting small and medium-sized entreprises with business advice to improve their performance and growth.
Latest COVID-19-related assessment, statistics, measures and advice for companies.
New project with the aim to help SMEs overcome the challenges posed by Covid-19, master new trends and adapt to market changes.

What help is available from my government?
The Government of Georgia is taking measures to battle the outcomes of the economic lockdown and respond to challenges that all businesses, especially SMEs, are facing.
Immediate fiscal measures
Direct payment from the state budget or government sources:
  • Co-financing (for six month) of interest on commercial loans (up to 80% on loans in GEL, up to 70% on loans in USD or Euro) taken by small and medium sized hotels (with 4 to 50 rooms) before March 1, 2020, for building, expanding, equipping, renovating or redesigning of hotel facilities with the maximum amount of the loan to be 1,000,000 GEL, 300,000 USD, or 250,000 EURO; this will benefit about 2000 hotels (estimated cost of the measure 8 mln GEL). Read more
  • Increase in financing of the government-funded infrastructure projects by additional 200 mln GEL to be expended in 2020. Read more
  • Increase the amount of reimbursement of the overpaid VAT through the system for automated VAT refund from the planned yearly amount of 600 mln GEL to 1.2 bn GEL. Read more
  • Changes in the State Program "Produce in Georgia" include:
    • redesigning of the interest rate co-financing mechanism for loans or leasing;
    • expanding the list of economic activities eligible for getting the interest-rate co-financing on loans or leasing;
    • prolongation of the interest rate co-financing period from 24 months to 36 months;
    • reducing the eligibility threshold on the value of loans or leasing from 100,000 GEL to 50,000 GEL;
    • increasing the coverage of operational expenses.
    Read more
  • Micro and Small Business Support Program [to render financial support and consulting to micro and small businesses across Georgia, except for the Capital Tbilisi]; the upper limit for grant financing has been increased to 30 000 GEL; portfolio of grants will be increased from 20 mln GEL to 40 mln GEL. Read more
  • Introduction of 100% cofinancing of interest on agricredits taken to finance current expenses to produce annual crops; duration of co-financing: 6 months; Principal payment will be due upon selling the harvested crops [expected number of beneficiaries 5000 farmers]. Read more
  • Debts for unpaid amelioration service fees accumulated over 2012-2019 will be written-off.
  • Accommodation service providers with annual turnover of 20 Mio GEL will get co-financing of 80% of interest payments for 6 months on loans up to 5 Mio GEL; # of beneficiaries: 3000 hotels. Read more
  • Additional support to tourism companies and guides:
    • Coverage of interest payments on bank guarantees of the tourism companies (submitted to IATA & GSA) for 6 months;
    • Subsidies to co-finance costs of participation in tourism fairs;
    • Support in introducing and implementing UNWTO recommendations;
    • Retraining of tourism guides;
    • Support to tourism guides to visit museums, protected areas, etc. free of charge.
    Read more
Special measures for agrarian industry
  • Preferential agricultural credits:
    • introduction of a new component for annual crops providing for coverage of interests to be paid on loans to finance current expenses [on loans from 5,000 to 100,000 GEL, full coverage of interest payments for 6 months for collateralized loans or 17% of the annual volume of interest payments for non-collateralized loans);
    • increase of the share of co-financing for loans to finance expenses on purchasing or leasing fixed assets [from 20,000 to 1,500,000 GEL]: from 8 to 11% in case of purchasing and from 9 to 12% in case of leasing [payable for 48 months]; introduction of enterprises producing pasta products as well as grape processing plants as eligible entities to get support for leasing of fixed assets;
    • introduction of the program component providing for a secondary collateral valid for 18 months upon issuance of the first tranche of a new collateralized loan to finance current expenses of livestock breeding and hazelnut enterprises [payments not exceeding 50% of the initial principal or 150,000 GEL];
    • introduction of a sub-component providing for co-financing of 10% of annual interest payment for 24 months on loans [from 1,500,001 to 5,00,000 GEL] issued to grape processing plants, producers of pasta products, and producers of bakery products;
    • introduction of a sub-component providing for co-financing of 12% of interest for 24 months on loans to finance expenses of food industry companies on leasing of fixed assets.
    Read more
  • Support for primary agricultural production: 50% co-financing of the purchase of agricultural machinery and implements, construction of new or modernization of existing greenhouses, purchase and/or installment of irrigation systems for annual agricultural crops; up to 50,000 GEL per beneficiary.
  • 50% co-financing of the procurement / installment of irrigation systems for perennial crops; up to 2,500 GEL per hectar of land occupied by these crops.
  • Farmers / agricultural enterprises with total area of each registered land plot owned by them to be from 0.25 to 10 ha will get a subsidy to finance cost of fertilizers, chemical / biological plant protection products, seeds and seedlings and plowing services in the amount of 200 GEL per ha; # of beneficiaries: 200,000 farmers / agricultural enterprises; land registration is offered for free.
  • Farmers / agricultural enterprises with total area of each registered land plot owned by them to be from 0.25 to 10 ha will get a subsidy of 1 GEL per liter of diesel fuel used for agricultural production for up to 150 liters of diesel fuel per 1 ha of land and no more than 15000 liters for arable land plots exceeding 100 ha; land registration is offered for free. Read more
Direct cash assistance for the most vulnerable categories:
  • Monthly cash assistance of 100 GEL for poor HHs with their means tested rating score between 65,000 -100,000, for 6 months [about 70,000 HHs].
  • Monthly cash assistance of 100 GEL for poor HHs with their means tested rating score between 0 -100,000 who have 3 or more children under age of 16, for 6 months [about 21,000 HHs].
  • Monthly cash assistance of 100 GEL for adults with severe disabilities and children with disabilities, for 6 months [about 40,000 individuals].
  • Annual indexation of the monthly old-age pension benefit by the last year’s inflation rate or by 20 GEL whichever amount happens to be greater, for old-age pensioners below 70, starting from 2021 [about 365,000 individuals will benefit from the measure].
  • Annual indexation of the monthly old-age pension benefit by the sum of the last year’s inflation rate + 80% of real GDP growth rate or by 25 GEL whichever amount happens to be greater, for old-age pensioners over 70, starting from 2021 [about 410,000 individuals will benefit from the measure]. Read more
Extended unemployment schemes:
  • Unemployment benefit to be paid to those who lost their jobs due to coronacrisis; 200 GEL per month for 6 months to benefit at least 350 000 previously employed people [period: May - October, 2020]. People who lost their jobs while being on a maternity / paternity leave have been added to the list of eligible beneficiaries of the measure.
  • Unemployment benefit to be paid to those who lost their income from self-employment; 300 GEL one-time payment to benefit 250 000 self-employed.
  • Payroll tax breaks for retained staff whose salaries are up 750 GEL and on the amount of 750 GEL for retained staff whose salaries are up to 1500 GEL; Duration of the tax break: 6 months.
  • Compensation to businesses to cofinance salary payments – the amount is still undecided; duration of payment is still undecided; according to the Prime Minister the monthly compensation per employee will be above the subsistence minimum for woking age male in a given month (206 GEL in March 2020).
State subsidies:
  • The allowment for:
    • subsidised prices for nine major food products imported from abroad [period: from 15 March to 15 May 2020) to compensate the difference in prices caused by the devaluation of the Georgian lari due to corona crisis to companies importing rice, pasta, sunflower oil, flour, sugar, wheat, milk powder, buckwheat and beans (GEL 4.8 mln) [effective since March 23, 2020];
    • subsidized wheat imports (GEL 5,2 mln) [effective since April 17 2020].
  • Subsidies for amelioration fees: all physical and legal persons will be freed from paying amelioration fees for 2020. Read more
  • Electricity, water supply and waste disposal subsidies for households with less than 200 kwh consumption: Estimated # of beneficiary HHs ≈1199000; Estimated monthly amount per HH≈ 37 GEL; period: March, April, May (3 months in total). Read more
  • Gas subsidies for HHs with less than 200 cubic meters of monthly consumption: Estimated # of beneficiary HHs ≈ 671000; Estimated monthly amount per HH≈ 83 GEL; period: March, April, May (3 months in total).
Deferral programmes and initiatives
Covered by State resources:
  • Businesses in tourism sector were offered to defer payment of income and property taxes for four months (March - June 2020); Payments are due in November 2020; it affects approx. 18 000 companies and 50 000 employees; No late payment interest will be accrued on deferred tax liabilities. Read more
  • Customs clearance liabilities for importers of vehicles have been postponed until 1 September, 2020 for vehicles that were imported before 1 April 2020. Read more
  • Exemption of hotels, catering enterprises, tourism companies and related businesses from property tax payable in 2020. Read more
Covered by Private resources:
  • Hotel industry businesses that encounter problems in servicing their loans are offered to get their liabilities restructured by commercial banks on an individual basis.
  • All other businesses that encounter problems in servicing their loans are offered to get their liabilities restructured by commercial banks on an individual basis.
  • Citizens willing to defer their loan repayments with banks and microfinance organizations are given a grace period for three months. Additional three months of a grace period was offered to citizens, who receive state support under COVID-19 policy response measures.
Other liquidity/guarantee measures
  • Guarantees to commercial banks on loans to be extended to businesses (with up to 80% risk coverage, government to provide GEL 300 million as guarantee, banks to extend 2 bn of loans). Inclusion of catering enterprises in the credit guarantee scheme (up to 90% of principal for new loans and 30% of principal for restructured loans). Read more
  • Long term loans in GEL (relatively cheap) for commercial banks.

This information is based on information from publicly available websites on 22 May, 2020. EU4Business is not responsible for accuracy and continued availability of these facilities.

Do any EU4Business projects give grants for SMEs?

Grants for SMEs are available through a number of programmes.

EU Programme HORIZON 2020. The programme aims at increasing the competitiveness of Georgian enterprises.
Valid until 25.06.2022 with total budget for grants € 3 760 000. Read more

RURAL DEVELOPMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH OF TETRITSKARO MUNICIPALITY. The programme aims at promoting sustainable rural development in targeted area through diversified rural economy, improved competitiveness of agriculture and balanced, participative and inclusive development strategy.
Valid until 14.03.2022 with total budget for grants € 1 063 630. Read more

Programme by RURAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (RDA) aims at empowerment of local economic actors for basic sustainable rural development in Abkhazia. The programmes’s rental scheme provides access to modem agricultural equipment to maximum 300 female and male farmers in Gali and Tkvarcheli districts.
Valid until 15.11.2020 with total budget for grants € 750 000. Read more

PROMOTION OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSIFICATION IN KHULO MUNICIPALITY by Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia. The objective of the project is to provide farmers with training in marketing and to enable local farmers to expand or diversify their businesses. Moreover, the project will, in cooperation with the Local Action Group (LAG), establish a Rural Development Fund (RDF), which will provide small grants to eligible rural development projects.
Valid until 28.07.2022 with total budget for grants € 900 000. Read more

GREEN ECONOMY: SUSTAINABLE MOUNTAIN TOURISM AND ORGANIC AGRICULTURE (GRETA) by Austrian Development Agency. The objective of the action is to facilitate an improvement of the business environment and the creation of new income opportunities in sustainable mountain tourism and organic agriculture in order to reduce poverty and exclusion in the selected mountain areas of Georgia.
Valid until 30.12.2024 with total budget for grants € 3 000 000. Read more

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