COVID-19: Weekly Digest on Impact on SMEs in EAP (June 12, 2020)


  • Armenia is unlikely to have 2020 tourism season, Armenian Tourism Association states. “Keeping the positions for 3 months, the tourism sector gives up by cutting the staff”, reads the statement raising the issue of Armenia’s land border with Georgia staying closed. Read More
  • Face masks in Yerevan available from self-service machines. A joint effort of “Tavish textiles”, Tavish region-based SME and Arvending LTD resulted in getting two-pack protective face masks costing 200AMD (less than US$ 0.4). Read More
  • Tigran Khachatryan, the Armenian Minister of Economy, stated the Small and Medium Business Strategy will soon be presented for approval to the government. “The most important problem for SMEs is export infrastructure, which is weak”, he said. Read More


  • Subsidies in the amount of almost 192 million AZN($113 million) were allocated to Azerbaijani farmers for the autumn sowing, according to the Agency for Agricultural Lending and Development. More than 9 million AZN($5 million) was also received by agricultural producers for summer sowing. To apply for these funds, farmers should register on a special website. Read More
  • The volume of non-cash payments in Azerbaijan increased by 39% during January-April of 2020, compared to the corresponding period of 2019, according to the Central Bank. The volume of non-cash transactions also increased by 71 per cent during the reporting period. Read More
  • Amendments to the Tax Code of Azerbaijan providing tax benefits and holidays for entrepreneurs directly affected by the pandemic were approved by President Ilham Aliyev. Measures include eliminating of property and land taxes for spheres most affected by the pandemic, 75% reduction in profit tax, 50% reduction in simplified tax for micro-businesses. Read More


  • 4 thousand business entities turned to local authorities for help during the pandemic in the framework of a decree on supporting the economy. 1.7 thousand business owners received it. Read More
  • Tour operators resume operation. From July 1, citizens can fly from Belarus to Turkey, for example. But most countries are still closed to Belarusians, and customers begin to go to court to get their money back for trip vouchers. Read More
  • The Association of Restaurateurs of Belarus published the survey results. Losses in May were confirmed by 48% of surveyed restaurant business owners. To the question “What will you do if you have to close the business?”, a quarter replied that they would leave the country. Read More
  • Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus allocated more than 117 million Belarusian rubles (USD 49 million) to support small business in January-May 2020. Read More


  • Currency exchange offices, restaurants, hotels, as well as intercity transport resume operation throughout Georgia as of June 8. Read More
  • The government of Georgia further helps local companies start or develop business production through an augmented budget of 40 million GEL (about $13m) under the state programme “Produce in Georgia”. The minimum threshold for grants under the Micro Grants and Small Enterprise Support Programmes has been increased from 20,000 to 30,000 GEL (about $10,000). Read More
  • The government of Georgia spent 32.5 million GEL (about $10.8m) of the state budget on quarantine actions, benefiting 23 small, 42 middle-sized and 18 large hotels. This ensured that both the business and employees in the sector maintain jobs and incomes, state reports. Read More
  • Government of Georgia plans to attract post-COVID investments by encouraging local production in order to reduce the dependence on imports and by bringing global companies and other industrial hubs from China. Read More
  • Tourism will reopen in Georgia through so-called 'safe corridors' to ensure an organized inflow of foreign visitors from countries which have positive results in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, including Israel, Austria, Czech Republic, Baltic countries and etc. Read More
  • Forbes names Georgia among the Top 7 countries with the potential to become major safe tourist destinations in the post-COVID period. Read More

The Republic of Moldova

  • In the first quarter, the gross balance of loans accounted to 45.4% of the total assets of banks licensed in the Republic of Moldova, or 42 billion MDL (2.4 billion USD). During the pandemic period, loans increased by 4.1%: 1.7 billion lei (98 million USD). Read More
  • More than 50,000 companies and individuals, who borrowed money from microfinancing companies, have re-negotiated their contracts because of the coronavirus crisis. About 800 million MDL (USD 46.5 million) in payments have been restructured or postponed. Read More
  • After a 3-month break, shopping centres resume their activity (only trade units will be opened). The activity of public catering and entertainment units within shopping centres is still not allowed.  Read More


  • The government programme “New Money” will provide loans of UAH 5 billion (USD 188 million) for micro, small and medium-sized businesses. Ukrainian entrepreneurs will be able to get loans at a 0% interest rate. To do this, the state guarantees 80% of the body of the loan to the bank. Read More
  • Quarantine restrictions to be further relaxed applying to the operation of catering establishments, church services and the launch of air services, including launch of foreign flights from 15 June. Read More
  • In an attitude shift that could impact office real estate, shopping and commuting patterns, 37% of respondents to a job agency survey would like to continue working from home after the quarantine is lifted. In the survey, 48% of participants want the option to work from home until the coronavirus situation is completely under control, and 38% say companies should provide transport so workers do not take crowded minibuses or the Metro. Read More
  • As of two weeks ago, only 20% of the coronavirus emergency money had been spent, reports the Kyiv School of Economics, drawing on Finance Ministry data. That leaves $1.9 billion for spending this summer. Read More
  • The Parliament has approved the bill, which allows to redirect the unused money from the Stabilization Fund aimed at battling the COVID-19 crisis to road construction works. It is believed that the measure will create lots of jobs for Ukrainians: 12,600 in the road construction industry and more than 50,400 in adjacent industries. Read More

EU4Business Updates

OECD launches a series of Covid-related peer review sessions for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine

OECD is inviting you to register for three peer review sessions in zoom webinar format in the coming weeks. The webinars will focus on country-specific priorities in the wake of Covid-19 economic shocks. Read More


Call for Proposals: EU4Business “Innovative Tourism Action Grants in times of Covid-19”

The project in Armenia provides grants of up to 8,000 EUR and up to 20,000 EUR to tourism businesses, NGOs and foundations to support the sector facing one of the toughest challenges because of Covid-19 pandemic. Read More

Online training for women entrepreneurs in Armenia

EBRD “Women in Business” project organizes online training “From Entrepreneur to Enterprise” for those women entrepreneurs that want to develop their business and become successful in Armenia. Read More