COVID-19: Weekly Digest on Impact on SMEs in EAP (July 31, 2020)


  • According to the Statistical Committee, the economic activity of Armenia in the first half of 2020 decreased by 4.7% per annum, while in June 2020 alone, economic activity increased by 14.8%, after growing by 13.3% in May and against growth by 8.2% in June 2019. Read more
  • Over 37% of hotels had to cut their staff, and another 53% also plan to reduce staff in the future. According to a study carried out by the Association of Hotels of Armenia, the sector faces partial or complete cessation of companies’ activities, job cuts, and lower wages. Read more
  • Ameriabank provides preferential loans totaling 18.5 billion AMD (US $38,600) using its own resources to support business in ensuring its uninterrupted activity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The bank has supported the companies under the state programmes to neutrialise the economic consequences of the coronavirus. Read more
  • VTB Bank joins 20th programmes of Armenian government to combat the consequences of Covid-19 for hotel business, tourism, catering services, etc. All payments under the programme are made in non-cash form to the clients’ cards. Read more


  • Meat sales declined sharply in Azerbaijan during coronavirus pandemic, according to Association of Meat product producers. Decline in sales amounted to 25-30%, and was caused by the closure of restaraunts and cafes during quarantine. Read more
  • Tourism industry in Azerbaijan needs specialized support packages from government, according to the Chairman of Hotels & Restaurant Association Samir Dubendi. He added that losses in tourism sector are far greater than 48% that were stated by government. Read more
  • Entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan applied for business loans totalling 495 million AZN(US$ 289 million) in July through EleAX Cctronic Credit Platform, according to the Ministry of Economy. In total, 1,447 requests were received. On July 22, 46 of them were approved with loans amounting to 5.6 million AZN (US$ 3.3 million). The platform was launched on June 30 to support businesses amid pandemic. Read more


  • In the first half of 2020, Belarusian health resorts lost half of their revenues due to pandemic as more than 17,000 clients canceled their reservations. On June 15, the health resorts resumed work with occupancy rate of about 41%, and by the end of July it reached 70%. Read more
  • The authorities say that the fight against coronavirus cost the Belarusian budget US$ 210 billion. Of these, US$ 107 million were used for loans to support state-owned enterprises that were not quarantined by the president's decision (under government guarantees and local guarantees). Read more
  • The Ministry of Finance offers 5-year preferential tax regime for income from investment operations of investment funds, as well as income of investors. The goal is to create conditions for economic growth, attract investment and activate small and medium-sized businesses. Read more


  • 53% of over 1,500 small and medium sized businesses surveyed in Georgia say they will maintain their employees despite the coronavirus crisis, while 9% of businesses forecast a decrease in their number of staff, and 7% expect an increase in employees, says the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Read more
  • The Government of Georgia works on additional portfolio of anti-crisis economic support measures to mitigate the negative economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to develop additional anti-crisis economic measures, which will be more focused on supporting citizens. Read more
  • Credit Guarantee Mechanism of the State Agency “Produce In Georgia” ensuring inclusive economic growth in the wake of COVID-19 has provided the first beneficiary with 150,000 GEL (about $50,000) financing. A security provided by the Agency is 90% of the principal amount. An improved Credit Guarantee Mechanism provides enterprises with minimum loan volume of GEL 50,000 (over US$ 16,000) and maximum loan volume of GEL 5 million (over US$ 1.6 million). Read more
  • Over 106,000 farmers have already benefited from the government’s agro-diesel programme, giving them the opportunity to receive more than 28,000 tons of diesel 1 GEL cheaper than the market price. A security was provided for more than 15,000 hectares, which is 24% more compared to the previous year. Read more

The Republic of Moldova

  • The pandemic has locked the doors of several restaurants and cafes in the capital. From the 1,600 existing restaurants and cafes, almost a third have not resumed their activity, because they cannot cope with the restrictions imposed by the authorities (social distancing). Those who risked reopening their premises say they are losing money: the number of customers has halved, and cost has risen considerably. Read more
  • The National Public Health Emergency Commission has decided to extend the state of emergency until August 31. Economic agents from the HoReCa sector (hotels, restaurants and cafes) can hold events with a small number of guests and in strict observance of sanitary and epidemiological standards. Read more
  • The Alliance of Small and Medium Enterprises (AIM) has developed the Moldova Small Business Handbook within the “Development of the SMEs ecosystem in the Republic of Moldova” project. The guide contains key information on how to create or develop a profitable business. Read more


  • The national project of entrepreneurial development Diia.Business will soon open the second Business Support Center in Ukraine – in Kyiv region. Read more
  • The state programme “Affordable loans 5-7-9%” has doubled its efficiency since the requirements were lowered for small and medium business. Last week, partner banks signed 196 new agreements for UAH 638 million (EUR 19.6 million), while a week earlier those were 110 agreements signed for UAH 324 million (EUR 10 million). The loans with the greatest demand are refinancing loans followed by investment loans. Read more

EU4Business Updates

  • Armenia’s micro and small businesses may receive innovative grants from EU
    The EU “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” Programme, in close cooperation with the Armenian Ministry of Economy, announces a competition for “Innovative Grants for Economic Recovery of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises” as part of EU4Business initiative. Read more
  • EU and partners award 35 grants to help Georgian farmers recover from COVID-19 pandemic
    The EU, the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have awarded 35 matching grants for a total of more than GEL 2 million (approximately €0.5 million), covering 40%–75% of farmers’ initial investments in agricultural initiatives. Read more
  • EU supports Ukrainian company in developing mobile platform for electric car drivers
    Go To-U is one of the 25 Ukrainian companies to receive a grant under the EU-funded project ‘Climate innovation vouchers’, implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. With these funds, the company has developed an online platform and a mobile app to connect socially and environmentally responsible businesses with electric car drivers. Read more
  • Covenant of Mayors East organises sessions on best practices for energy transition after COVID-19
    The Covenant of Mayors Office in Eastern Europe and South Caucasus has organised a series of video meetings called Small Talk with the Mayor. In these online sessions, members of the Covenant Community will share insights, good practices and measures to lead energy transition and green recovery in their municipalities after the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more