The European Commission has approved a CZK 1 billion (approximately €36.3 million) Czech scheme to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in the primary agricultural sector affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission.
The public support, which will take the form of direct grants, will be open to small and medium enterprises active in the primary agricultural production sector (farmers). The aid is specifically intended to partially reduce the outstanding amounts of operating bank loans to these SMEs and will cover up to 50% of the unpaid loan amount.
The measure is expected to support approximately 5,000 SMEs. The purpose of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of farmers and to help them continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The aid will not exceed €100,000 per company and the scheme will run until 31 December 2020. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of the Czech Republic.
More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.