The European Commission said on June 29 that it has approved a Bulgarian state aid scheme, estimated at 200 million leva or about 102 million euro, meant to support medium-sized companies affected by the new coronavirus outbreak.
The EC said that the public support will be co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund with 87 million euro.
Under the scheme, qualifying applicants can receive grants of up to 75 000 euro, with the measure expected to benefit about 1500 medium-sized companies. It is open to applicants in all sectors except primary production and processing of agricultural products, fishery, aquaculture, forestry and the financial and gambling sectors.
In a statement, the Commission said that the proposed scheme met the conditions of the EU state aid temporary framework and concluded that “the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy” of Bulgaria.
A similar scheme targeting micro- and small-sized companies, funded under the EU operational programme for innovation and competitiveness, was in the process of assessing applications.
After receiving 27 623 applications before the June 15 deadline, for total funding worth 225.3 million leva, the operational programme’s managing authority said that it processed about 3000 applications and approved 2636 companies to receive 14.67 million leva in grants.
(European Commission headquarters Berlaymont building. Photo: JLogan)