Support Measures for the Business with Public Resources
Aiming to Overcome the Economic Consequences of COVID-19


In response to the economic consequences of the crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the state of emergency declared in the country, a number of public recourses measures and financial instruments were introduced in order to support the undertakings whose activity was affected by the extraordinary situation. This article shall briefly summarize the most significant measures, based on the currently published information thereon.


1. Support for Micro and Small Enterprises for Overcoming of the Economic Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic with a Budget of BGN 173 Million.

Counted as of 14 May 2020, the Managing Body of Operative Program “Innovation and Competitiveness” 2014-2020 (MB of OPIC) opened for applications a procedure for selection of projects "Support for micro and small enterprises to overcome the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic".

The eligible candidates are micro and small enterprises within the meaning of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Act1, which correspond to the following criteria:

  • legal entities or sole traders registered under the Commerce Act or the Cooperatives Act with a personnel of up to 50 employees;
  • registered after 1 July 2019 and have carried out economic activity during 2019;
  • they have registered a decrease of at least 20% in their net income from sales for the month of April 2020 as compared to the average monthly net income from sales for 2019;
  • as of 31 December 2019 the undertaking was not in difficulty; and
  • the undertaking carries out activity in all economic sectors, except the ones falling within the scope of the Program for Development of Agricultural Regions.

1 The concepts of “micro” and “small” enterprises within the meaning of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Act (SMEA) do not have an identical meaning with the definition of these concepts in the Accountancy Act (AA). It is possible for a small or micro enterprise within the meaning of AA to not be such within the meaning of SMEA.

The grant shall be at the amount between BGN 3,000 and BGN 10,000 (but not exceeding 10% of the net income from sales for 2019, as declared in the annual tax return for 2019 under Art. 92 of the Corporate Income Taxation Act or declared in the annual tax return for 2019 under Art. 50 of the Tax on the Income of Natural Persons Act). The grant may cover expenses necessary for the overcoming of the insufficiency of funds or lack of liquidity due to the epidemic spread of COVID-19: for raw materials and consumables; for external services (including overheads); for personnel (incl. expenses for remuneration and expenses for social security and health insurance contributions at the expense of the employer, excluding the expenses for staff, for which assistance is received under the measure 60/40).

The candidates under the procedure shall present the following documentations entirely online:

  • declaration for the circumstances under Art. 3 and Art. 4 of SMEA – filled in as per template;
  • declaration for the financial information – filled in as per template;
  • declaration that the candidate is acquainted with the Terms and Conditions for application and the Terms and Conditions for performance;
  • declaration for consent for the data of the candidate to be provided by NRA;
  • Administrative contract for the grant under the procedure.

The candidates under the program shall be approved in accordance with the time of their application (i.e. first come – first served) and the grants shall be paid until the limit of the program is reached – BGN 173 million.

It is possible for the total amount of the grant under the procedure to be increased in the future.


2. Guarantee Scheme of the Bulgarian Development Bank AD for Portfolio Guarantees for Support of the Liquidity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Affected by the State of Emergency and the COVID-19 Epidemic

The guarantee scheme of the Bulgarian Development Bank AD (BDB) is an opportunity for provision of unsecured working capital credits for the amount of up to BGN 300,000 on the basis of portfolio guarantees by BDB issued to commercial banks with the aim of ensuring liquidity of SMEs of all economic sectors for overcoming of the negative consequences of the spread of COVID-19.

In order for an undertaking to be approved, it must comply with at least one of the following criteria:

  • decrease in turnover for the first trimester of 2020 as compared to the same period of 2019 (based on the financial statements of the company);
  • existence of receivables from clients, which have not yet been collected or of amounts, which have not been paid to suppliers after 1 March 2020 (based on the financial statements of the company);
  • suspended supply from import, necessary for the activity of the undertaking – after 1 January 2020 or cancelled agreements for export (based on certificates and documents provided by the company);
  • cases of illness and self-isolation of employees or a general decline in the number of employed persons, closed production facilities, premises and offices (based on certificates and documents provided by the company).

The grace period for the credits for principal and interest is up to 36 months. The deadline for applications is 23 December 2020. The implementation of the program is financially secured with BGN 500 million.


3. Fund of Funds – Credits for Liquidity Support for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

3.1. “Micro-crediting with Shared Risk” Financial Instrument

This instrument is managed by the Fund of Funds by means of financial intermediaries - First Investment Bank AD, SiS Credit AD and Microfund AD. It supports individuals who, upon equal other conditions, would not be able to access any financing.

The instrument provides an opportunity for micro-credits and aims to support the establishment and development of starting companies and social undertakings. Undertakings owned by certain vulnerable groups (unemployed for more than 6 months, young people of up to 29 years of age and people with disabilities) shall also be supported by this measure.

The amount of the credit shall be between BGN 5,000 and BGN 48,895 and the term for repayment shall be 10 years with a possibility to negotiate a grace period of up to 2 years.


3.2. Credits for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises with an Interest Subsidy

This financial instrument is also provided by the Fund of Funds. It provides for provision of guarantees amounting to BGN 170 million to partner-banks by which a portfolio of new credits shall be secured for an amount of up to BGN 850 million for a period of one year.

The aim of the financing is to serve as temporary measure for support to undertakings for the period of economic uncertainty and a sharp decline of their activities. The credits are eligible for SMEs operating in various sectors, including those most affected by the crisis, such as tourism, transport, trade, etc.

The amount of the funding shall be up to BGN 3.6 million, predominantly for working capital, with a possibility to also provide long-term investment credits for up to ten years.


4. Credits to Undertakings Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic, provided by the Micro Financing Institution JOBS

The Micro Financing Institution JOBS, which is part of the Bulgarian Development Bank group, is also providing financial support to undertakings affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program provides for the payment of credits at a maximum amount of up to BGN 48,800 with annual interest of up to 10%, for working capital and credit lines.

The product is aimed for legal entities, agricultural producers who are natural persons, registered as agricultural producers, sole traders, cooperatives cultivating agricultural lands (owned by them or leased).

The requirements for the candidates are as follows:

  • to be active and starting traders or agricultural producers in Bulgaria who have lack of working capital due to force majeure circumstances related to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • to have good credit history for both the person requesting the credit and any related parties;
  • to have no public obligations (to the state budget, the National Social Security Institute etc.);
  • to have no enforcement proceedings against the person requesting the credit and its co-debtors.


5. Credits for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Small Midcaps (JEREMIE)

This instrument is managed by the European Investments Fund in partnership with commercial banks. Currently three banks are in partnership with the European Investment Fund under this instrument: United Bulgarian Bank AD, ProCredit Bank (Bulgaria) AD and UniCredit Bulbank AD.

It is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises and small midcaps, which can apply for such credits before banks who are partners of the European Investment Fund. The credit shall be paid by one of the three above-mentioned banks, before which the company has applied.

The maximum amount of the credit shall be up to BGN 3.6 million and its maximum term shall be 10 years with a possibility for negotiating a grace period. The funds may be used as working capital or multi-purpose, as well as for re-financing of obligations, which have arisen not earlier than 60 days.


6. Procedure for Deferral and Settlement of Payable Obligations towards Banks and Their Subsidiaries – Financial Institutions, adopted by the Managing Board of the Association of Banks in Bulgaria (ABB) and approved by BNB

The credit debtors (clients of the banks) who have or expect to have difficulties upon repayment of their obligations as per the credit agreements concluded with banks, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the limitations introduced by the Act on the Measures and Actions During the State of Emergency, shall have the possibility to defer and settle their obligations. As of 1 March 2020 the obligations of the clients must be regularly repaid or delayed for no longer than 90 days.

Each bank, which has accepted to apply the procedure shall publicly announce the suggested measures for support. The announcement shall state the procedure under which the deferral of the obligations shall be contracted upon by the bank, as well as the starting moment as of which the measure shall be applied. The deferral of obligations can be for up to 6 months, which must expire no later than 31 December 2020.

The suggested mechanisms for deferral and settlement of the obligations are three – deferral of principal and interest for up to 6 months, of principal for up to 6 months and a mechanism applicable to revolving products. The deadline for requests for deferral of the obligations is 22 June 2020.



This material is not exhaustive, is only of general nature and does not represent a specific advice or consultation. Should any additional questions arise, please do not hesitate to contact us at tel.: 02/943 37 00, fax: 02/943 37 07, е-mail: or at: 38, Oborishte Str., Sofia 1504.