27th April 2021, Skopje – Grant of up to EUR 15,000 intended for companies operating in the field of tourism, hospitality industry, event planning industry, private health institutions, sole proprietors and craftsmen, who will use the new interest-free credit line “COVID 4”, in case they increase the number of employees or increase their revenues this year. On Tuesday, Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi and the Director of the Development Bank of North Macedonia Kire Naumov presented the interest-free credit line requirements under the fifth set of measure, which can be applied for upon announcing the public call at the end of May.

As for this measure, total of Denar 615 million or EUR 10 million has been allocated in the Budget, which will made available through the Development Bank. Amount of the respective credits will range from EUR 3,000 to EUR 30,000. Measure is aimed at protecting the liquidity of the company, as well as boosting the investment activity of companies.

– This credit line provides for incentivizing those recording performance in the operations, making investments and expanding their capacities. “COVID 4” interest-free credit line includes performance-related grants, whereby in case companies increase their total revenues by at least 10% in 2021 compared to 2020, they will be eligible to apply for a 30% grant of the credit, or in case they increase the number of employees by at least 5% in 2021, they can apply for a 20% grant thereof. In case both requirements are met, the borrower can be awarded a 50% grant thereof. Total grant amount ranges from minimum EUR 600 to maximum EUR 15,000. Companies can submit application for grant funds to the Bank when they repay 40% of the credit, Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi said.

Director of the Development Bank Kire Naumov said that “COVID 4” interest-free credit line is intended for micro, small- and medium-sized companies with up to 250 employees, engaged in tourism, hospitality industry, event planning industry and transport sectors, private health institutions, sole proprietors and craftsmen, reporting at least 30% decline of revenues and which capital and reserves stated in the balance sheets are not less than 33% of the requested credit amount.

– Amount of the credit to be used by a certain entity will depend on the number of employees in January, February or March 2021 and the decline of revenues generated in 2020, compared to 2019. Entities recording 30% -50% revenue decline can apply for a credit of Denar 15,200 per employee, while those registering more than 50% revenue decline can apply for a credit amounting to Denar 22,000 per employee. Thus, for instance, an entity having 20 employees, recording presumably a 35% revenue decline, will be approved a credit amounting to: Denar 15,200 multiplied by 20 (the number of employees) multiplied by 3 (number of months) = Denar 912,000 (or EUR 14,830). If this entity recorded a 60% revenue decline, which is more than 50% decline, in that case, the credit amount approved thereto will be up to Denar 1,320,000 (or EUR 21,460) at the most, calculated by multiplying 22,000 (Denar amount) by 20 (the number of employees) and by 3 (the number of months ) – Naumov said.

Those already using the wage financial support measure under the fifth set, as well as the beneficiaries of “COVID 3” interest-free credit line cannot apply for “COVID 4” credit line. “COVID 1″ and “COVID 2” beneficiaries may apply for “COVID 4″ interest-free credit line, in case they have repaid all previous credits.

In addition, all potential beneficiaries of “COVID 4” credit line should, in timely manner, comply with the obligation for registering a beneficial owner in the Registry of Beneficial Owners within the Central Registry.

Repayment period for this interest-free credit line is up to 42 months with 12-month grace period, while credit will be repaid on quarterly basis – 10% of the principal.

During the press-conference, it was indicated that under the previous three interest-free credit lines “COVID 1”, “COVID 2″, and “COVID 3″, being fully absorbed, EUR 44.1 million has been injected in the business sector. In this respect, 4.078 companies have been supported thereby, most of which, i.e. 1,943 were micro enterprises. Under these 4,078 companies, 36,802 people have been employed.

Under “COVID 3” interest-free credit line, a grant component was introduced, targeting micro and small-sized entities managed by women, young entrepreneurs, export-oriented companies, those undergoing digitalization and adaptation process even in times of COVID-19-induced pandemic. Grant applications are expected to be submitted by 62% of “COVID 3” interest-free credit line beneficiaries.

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