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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 3 areas:
Access to finance
special credit terms in partnership with selected Ukrainian banks, as well as grants for SMEs in certain business sectors
Better regulation
analysis and support in implementing legislative acts, informing business on reform process
Anti-crisis business support services
advisory and online learning opportunities, including sectoral education programmes, online trainings and consultations from reputable experts
Where can I get a credit or a loan?
JSC Ukreximbank
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JSC Oschadbank
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JSC Procredit Bank
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OTP Leasing LLC
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JSC Raiffeisen
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JSC Ukrgazbank
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JSC Agroprosperis
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JSC Credit West
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JSC KredoBank
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JSC Bank Lviv
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Where can I get advice for my business?
Entrepreneurs can find case studies, online events, answers and consultations from leading experts in the following areas: marketing, export, certification, lean manufacturing, finance, HR, systematization of business processes, franchising, etc. During quarantine, Merezha offers 1-3 hours of free expert consultations for business.
On SMEDO portal, entrepreneurs can find useful tools, list of state anti-crisis programmes to support business, grant projects and programmes financed by various donors.
On this portal, entrepreneurs can track situation with stock movement, changes in trade and latest updates connected with preventatives measures regarding fighting Covid-19 outbreak.
The lawyers of BRDO have prepared the list of most frequently asked questions: how to receive help for part-time workers, who should provide the staff with personal protections tools, etc.
Entrepreneurs can learn at online-events of the Business Information Support Centers (BISCs). According to the joint decision of the EU, EBRD and BISCs, almost all trainings will be held free of charge until the end of quarantine.
Free learning opportunities, including webinars by international experts, for fresh fruit and vegetables producers and exporters as well as for apparel companies.

What help is available from my government?
The Government of Ukraine is taking measures to battle the outcomes of the economic lockdown and respond to challenges that all businesses, especially SMEs are facing.
The Stabilisation Fund

The Stabilisation Fund for the fight against coronavirus was for the period of quarantine in Ukraine and 30 days after it.

The Fund provides the following financial allocations for SMEs:

  • Payment of partial unemployment benefits to employees of SMEs. Support for payments to employees will be provided in case of persistent employment. The size of the payment is up to 1 minimum wage. The compensation will be provided through the State Employment Centers. For details on how SME can apply for the compensation visit website.
    Upd. 21 May. Unemployment benefits are exempt from taxation. Period when entrepreneurs can apply for getting unemployment benefits was increased from 30 to 90 days after quarantine. Read more
  • Some groups of individual entrepreneurs, who have children up to 10 years old, will get a minimum subsistence allowance during the quarantine period and one month after. Payments will be provided for each child under 10 years of age in the amount of the subsistence minimum (for children under 6 years - 1779 UAH=57.7 EUR; for children aged 6 to 10 years - 2218 UAH = 71.9EUR). Costs for implementing this measure (1,6 bln UAH=51.9 mln EUR) will be covered by the Stabilisation Fund, it means that they should not be included in the total volume of support. On-line application on Diia portal.
Deferral programmes and initiatives
Taxation:
  • No penalties will be applied to tax law violations that are committed between 1 March and till the end of month when quarantine will be cancelled, although this exemption will not apply to VAT or excise tax and rent.
  • Requirement to pay tax on commercial real estate and land was suspended (1 March - till the end of quarantine but no less than 30 June). Information on inspections is available) on website.
  • Tax inspections of companies were suspended (18 March - 31 May 2020)
  • The deadline for filing annual income declarations has been extended for two months, until 1 July, 2020, with the tax now payable by 1 October, 2020
  • During 2020 payers of income tax can consider costs for transferring medicines, medical goods and equipment to health care institutions as a contribution to the fight against COVID-19 without restriction
  • VAT exemption for import and/or supplying of medicines, medical goods and equipment used to fight COVID19 consequences (list of medicines, goods and equipment defined by Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine) till last day of quarantine
  • Changes on the payment of Social Security Contribution were adopted:
    • Individual entrepreneurs who also is employee are exempt from the payment of SSC
    • Individual entrepreneurs who also pensioners are exempt from the payment of SSC
    • Individual entrepreneurs who did not receive incomes from entrepreneurial activities in the certain period are exempt from the payment of SSC for this period
  • They will come into force on 1 January 2021
    • State regulation of prices was introduced since May 18 for certain goods
Operations and Employment:
  • COVID-19 quarantine was defined as a force-majeure for legal contracts
  • Businesses are enabled to adopt more flexible working hours
  • Citizens are allowed not to pay rent if they cannot use their property due to quarantine
Other liquidity/guarantee measures
  • A ban for banks on raising interest rates on all loan agreements and making changes to existing SME financial support programmes
  • Consumer loans taken before 2017 are temporarily exempt from fines and penalties
  • Some banks (e.g. PrivatBank and Oschadbank that are state owned) have announced a "credit holiday" for medium-sized businesses until the end of May
  • The start date of the mandatory use of payment transaction recorders by a specific subset of entrepreneurs has been postponed from 14 April to 1 August 2020
  • Mortgage payments postponed
  • Affordable loans 5-7-9%, which offers soft loans and credit guarantees to SMEs. The main goal is to allow businesses to safeguard working places and salaries of their employees. For loan terms visit website.
  • The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine supported legislative changes that provide small and medium-sized businesses that suffered from the COVID-19 loans with a partial state guarantee. Information on the volume and mechanisms of the programme is to come out soon.
  • "New Money" programme by the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture will provide funding for micro and small enterprises (companies with a turnover of up to 10 million EUR). The purpose of this program is to provide funding for covering priority needs of SMEs namely wages, utilities, rent, taxes and mandatory payments. Information on the volume and mechanisms of the programme is to come out soon.
  • The quarantine was extended till June 22, certain types of businesses get permission to start their functioning (e.g. hairdressers and beauty salons; dentists, cafes and restaurants). New rules for business were introduced allowing them to operate. New rules for business were introduced allowing them to operate:
  • A ban for banks on raising interest rates on all loan agreements and making changes to existing SME financial support programmes.
  • Consumer loans taken before 2017 are temporarily exempt from fines and penalties.
  • Some banks (e.g. PrivatBank and Oschadbank that are state owned) have announced a “credit holiday” for medium-sized businesses until the end of May.
  • The start date of the mandatory use of payment transaction recorders by a specific subset of entrepreneurs has been postponed from 14 April to 1 August 2020. No penalties till the end of quarantine.
  • Mortgage payments postponed.
  • The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted decree expanding the list of agribusinesses that can receive state support for loans from banks. It was done within special State programme "Financial support for agricultural producers" aims to support Ukrainian agrarians. The total amount of money allocated to this programme from state budget is UAH 4 bln.
  • The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine made changes to the state programme "State support of livestock, storage and processing of agricultural products, including fish farming". The support will be aimed, in particular, at compensation for the cost of facilities financed by bank loans.

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 COSME and HORIZON 2020 programmes.

COSME programme offers support for SMEs, clusters and business support organizations with trade opportunities, increasing competitiveness of Ukrainian enterprises, encouraging the development of entrepreneurship. Read more

HORIZON 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Read more

Both grant programmes are active till 2022 with the total budget of over EUR 8 million.

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