COVID-19: Weekly Digest on Impact on SMEs in EAP

  • The Government reopened some sectors of the economy. While Armenia extended the state of emergency for another 30 days restricting movement of people, it relaxed some industries such as open-air construction and cigarette manufacturing. Read More
  • The Armenian economy loses 51 million USD daily because of the coronavirus. During the first month of the state of emergency Armenia will lose 11% of GDP. Read More
  • Loan breaks have been given to 6,600 legal entities in the amount of 28 billion AMD ($57.7 million). Read More
  • SMEs in Armenia can apply for state support programme to solve possible liquidity issues resulting from COVID-19. As of April 13, 457 applications were received, only 70 were successful and will get 563 million AMD ($1 million) loans. Read More
  • Entities with 2 to 50 employees will benefit from one-time grant in the amount of the salary of every 5th employee. Read More
  • The Government of Armenia has adopted the 10th package of measures for micro enterprises. This support is for around 6,000 beneficiaries with the maximum amount 136.000 AMD ($280) as a one-time support. Read More
  • Greenhouses in Armenia may face immense losses. Even though the government proposes subsidies, the farms already have loans and no more can be taken. The products are impossible to sell and export. Read More


  • Economic activity in Azerbaijan is expected to slow down in 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic. A fall of GDP of around 5% in 2020 is predicted by Fitch Ratings Agency. Read More
  • Government issued a new mechanism for allocation of collateral free (unsecured) loans to farmers, 80% of which are SME`s. Now every farmer can get a collateral free loan up to 15,000 AZN ($8.8 thousand) with maximal interest rate of 12% and maximal term up to 3 years (2 years before)Read More
  • Loan debts can be frozen in Azerbaijan during lockdown caused by coronavirus pandemic, according to Central Bank Chairman Elman Rustamov. Read More
  • 5,752 taxpayers in Azerbaijan have already received financial support from the government as a part of the measures to minimize coronavirus pandemic effect on the national economy, according to the Ministry of Finance data. The value of support already received is estimated to be around 8.9 million AZN ($5.2 million)Read More


  • The government announced the development of the package of measures to support business worth $45 million but details have yet been announced.
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  • The ban on mass celebrations adversely affected the foodservice sector, whose revenue decreased by 50-80%. Some establishments were closed, others reduced staff and working hours, placed workers on unpaid leave.
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  • The revenues of companies engaged in tourism, concert and exhibition activities dropped by 95−98%. Intercity passenger traffic reduced by 40-50%, suburban and urban passenger traffic by 20%. Advertisers expect losses of up to 40-60% in April. Read More
  • The profit of stores in shopping centers that did not close fell by 60-90% in March, disputes are ongoing with landlords about reducing rental costs. Read More
  • The government recommended the stores to lower prices for specialty goods under the threat of tight price controls. If there are no objective reasons for the rise in the prices of goods, then manufacturers and importers can raise prices by no more than 0.5% per month. Business calls these conditions unacceptable and requires their cancellation. Read More


  • Over 90% of companies consider the current situation is hindering business, according to Georgian Chamber of Commerce's survey of 615 members (mostly SMEs). Reduction or cancelation of orders is one of the main challenges (10.2%). 53% were forced to sack their employees. 70.5% of those sacked employees stayed on full-time remote work, while 19.1% stayed on part-time work and 10.4% went on unpaid leave. Read More
  • 80% of farmers cannot sell the products because HeReCa sector is closed, according to Georgian Farmers’Association poll among 175 farmers and agribusiness representatives. 65% respondents state sales have not increased, loan payments in USD have increased by 30% whilst 40% have postponed payments of their creditors. Read More
  • Retail sector saw sales figures drop by 35% in the first week of March, followed by a drastic 80% plunge in the week leading up to the announcement of the State of Emergency. Due to the quick depletion of the working capital, 40% of the retailers interviewed have not been able to pay March salaries. 40% of retailers are going to launch e-commerce during the following months. Read More
  • World Bank says real GDP growth in Georgia is projected to slow sharply, to close to 0% in 2020. The Georgian economy will be severely impacted, as transport restrictions affect the travel and tourism sectors, while containment measures dampen domestic demand. Read More
  • Sharp economic slowdown in Georgia in 2020 (GDP contraction of 3.2%, versus growth of 5.2% in 2019), before a recovery in 2021, is expected by Fitch.
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  • A special platform has been created for sellers, producers and buyers to communicate in the conditions of strict quarantine. On the grounds of the trade network ‘pocket’, wholesalers and farmers will be able to submit their produced perishable food and the network will take care of its realization.
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The Republic of Moldova

  • The state will cover part of the interest rates for loans contracted by the economic agents during this period. Read More
  • Due to newly created online marketplaces, e-commerce sales registered a 30% growth in the Republic of Moldova, amid the COVID-19 crisis. Read More
  • The Association of Creative Industry Companies in Moldova (COR) launches the digital first aid platform for business in the Republic of Moldova. Those who apply will benefit from a set of consultations and tools to create a website/online store, connected to online payment systems and deliveries Read More
  • Young entrepreneurs can benefit from business vouchers with a value of 10 thousand lei ($550) for developing business or improving skills of young people. To be eligible, entrepreneurs must own a newly registered company created and managed by persons between the ages of 18 and 35 years and be a citizen of the Republic of Moldova.  Read More


  • The Ukrainian travel market fell by 90%, as reported by the Center of Tourism development. The whole industry is expected to suffer even after the cancellations of quarantine and see losses of about $1 billionRead More
  • The Ukrainian government and the National Bank are finalizing two programmes of financial support through rapid credits for small business. The first programme is aimed at amending the existing project “Affordable loans: 5%-7%-9%” and refinancing the current debtors. Both programmes are called to support small business to avoid major drop in payroll and in general restoring of the economy after the COVID-19 crisis. Read More
  • The number of unemployed increased by 13%. The Ministry of Economic Development expects the total unemployment rate to reach 9.4% in 2020. To address the situation, the ministry is working on simplifying the registration procedure of unemployed and their support. Read More
  • Last week, 36,200 new people registered as unemployed with Ukraine’s State Employment Service. As of Monday, 388,000 Ukrainians were officially jobless -- 22% more than this time last year. This year, the five hardest hit oblasts are: Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava and Zaporizhia. Since a large portion of Ukrainians are not officially employed, the real jobless number is believed to be far higher.
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  • The Parliament eased some restrictions on operating business in the following areas: dry cleaning, courier delivery, construction, waist collecting and recycling, selling of mobile and telecommunications. Read More
  • Government is to create 500 000 jobs after removal of quarantine restrictions together with other projects aimed at supporting vulnerable groups.
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  • The IMF predicts Ukraine’s GDP will fall this year by 7.7%, tracking a 7.5% fall in the Eurozone group of 19 countries. Russia’s fall is pegged at 5.5%. Titled The Great Lockdown, the IMF’s semi-annual report predicts a worldwide rebound next year, with Ukraine growing by 3.6%. Read More
  • Relaxing quarantine is supported by half of the companies polled by the European Business Association. In a poll of 122 companies, 83% of companies have workers working from home, 20% cut salaries, 15% put employees on paid leave, and 4% cut staff. Read More
  • To increase hiring by small businesses, the Cabinet of Ministers has increased by 50% -- to $110,000 -- the maximum loan amount under the program “Affordable Loans: 5%-7%-9%.” In addition, the government is proposing zero interest loans for small businesses. Read More

OECD maps Covid-19 policy response in the Eastern Partnership

The regional note for the Eastern Partnership provides an overview of measures taken in the EaP and the initial economic impact they had on financial markets and output in key sectors. Read More

EIB Group contributes €5.2 billion to EU response to Covid-19 outside European Union

It will both strengthen urgent health investment and accelerate long-standing support for private sector investment that reflects financing needs in more than 100 countries around the world. Read More