COVID-19: Weekly Digest on Impact on SMEs in EAP (May 15)


  • About 14,000 economic entities (93.3% of the potential beneficiaries) with 2 to 50 employees received a total of about 2.2 billion AMD (about US$ 4.5 million) as the result of the measure aimed at mitigating the economic circumstances of Covid-19, according to the State Revenue Committee. Read More
  • 70.3 billion AMD (about US$ 145 million) was distributed through 17 actions of the Government of Armenia to the individuals and legal entities, stated Nikol Pashinyan, the Prime Minister of Armenia. Read More
  • The Armenian government approved the 17th anti-crisis programme for IT companies with an “up to” 30 mln AMD (about US$ 62,000) one-time grant to successful entrepreneurs. Read More
  • Luys Foundation published a comparative analysis of measures to overcome the Covid-19 crisis in the world and in Armenia. As of April 29, 2020, the fiscal support provided by Armenia was 2.3% of its GDP while Georgia and Azerbaijan have used more: 4% and 3% respectively of their GDPs. Read More


  • Applications received from 26,495 entrepreneurs on the partial payment of salary to 252,065 employees were approved and transferred to the Ministry of Finance. The amount of financial support for the currently approved appeals is 90.29 million AZN ($53.22 million). The total cost of this package is 215 million AZN ($126.73 million). Read More
  • The volume of contributions to the state budget of Azerbaijan through the State Customs Committee in January-April amounted to 1.348 billion AZN ($0.795 billion), a 3.2% decrease compared with the same period in 2019. During January-April, VAT revenues decreased by 0.4%, excise taxes revenues – by 54.4%, road tax revenues – by 4.4%. Read More
  • A new amendment to the Tax Code of Azerbaijan, providing tax benefits and holidays for entrepreneurs directly affected by the pandemic was approved by the Parliament of Azerbaijan. Measures include eliminating property and land taxes for spheres most affected by the pandemic, a 75% reduction in profit tax, 50% reduction in simplified tax for micro-businesses, and also deduction of expenses regarding measures, aimed to prevent COVİD-19 spread, from the annual profit of companies and entrepreneurs (from January 1, 2020). The total cost of the package of tax benefits is about 114 million AZN ($67 million). Read More
  • Reduction in social security contributions will be applied in Azerbaijan, according to amendments made to the law "On Social Insurance", approved by Parliament. From April 1, 2020, to January 1, 2021, the deduction rate for compulsory social insurance for individuals engaged in individual entrepreneurial activity in the construction and trade sectors will amount to 25% of the minimum wage (50% before), and 15% in other areas (25% before). Differentiated rates will also be applied in the regions. Read More


  • The number of orders at Belarusian aggregator websites for food delivery from cafes and restaurants increased by some 30%. But it is not cheap for businesses – on average from 15 to 30% of receipt value. Read More
  • According to official data, the number of those in Minsk who work shorter hours and those sent on vacation at the employer’s initiative grew by almost 21%, and the number of those who are on hold increased by 38.4%. Read More
  • In April, the National Bank found out that more than half of enterprises consider the economic environment unfavourable. The consolidated economic sentiment indicator turned out to be the lowest in the last few years in all major sectors: industry, trade, transport and construction. According to enterprises, actual demand dropped by 23.4%. Read More


  • 67.9% of the surveyed businesses, members of the Business Association of Georgia (BAG), indicate the impact of COVID-19 on their business activity was very significant. 47.2% of the surveyed report they continued to operate during the state of emergency, while 37.7% report only partially maintaining operations and 15.1% state they had stopped operating due to COVID-19. Read More
  • The government decides the tourism sector, employing up to 150,000 people and making up 11% of GDP, will be fully exempt from property taxes in 2020. The income taxes of the companies working in the tourism sector will be postponed for 9 months, until the end of the year. Read More
  • The government of Georgia launches a program to finance 80% of interest rates on the hotel business bank loans, in amounts up to GEL 5 million (over $1.5m), for the hotels with an annual turnover of up to GEL 20 million (about $6.3m). The program with the budget of GEL 60 million (about $18.7m) will last for 6 months. Read More
  • is a new project with the aim to help SMEs overcome the challenges posed by Covid-19 and master new trends and adapt to market changes. When filling the consultation request, the team addresses specific challenges of SMEs and recommends how to keep the customers and get back to the status quo with the right communication tips. Read More

The Republic of Moldova

  • Light industry, one of the most important industries of the Republic of Moldova, was severely affected by the existing crisis employing over 30 thousand, of which 70% stayed at home during the state of emergency. Forecasts show that not everyone will return to work and, without state support, a wave of layoffs will follow. Read More
  • According to the decision of the Commission for Emergency Situations, from 11 May, markets from the Republic of Moldova resume their activity, except for those located in Chisinau and Balti. Shopping centres, barbershops, dental offices and other service providers remain closed, at least until 15 May, when the state of emergency will be concluded. Read More
  • Patent holders and individual entrepreneurs who were left without income during the state of emergency will receive a single unemployment benefit in the amount of 2,775 MDL ($ 155), starting with 12 May. Read More


  • As of May 11, Ukraine starts exiting from quarantine and opens a significant number of small businesses and public areas. This includes open summer terraces of cafes and restaurants. Sports clubs, fitness centres, cultural and entertainment facilities remain closed. Read More
  • The first two months of quarantine cost Ukraine’s shopping centres $260 million in lost rents and cost their tenants $1.85 billion in lost sales, calculates the Ukrainian Council of Shopping Centres. Supermarkets lost 15% in revenue. Because most shopping centres stopped charging rents, few stores have closed. Read More
  • The drop in the gross domestic product (GDP) of Ukraine in Q1, 2020 amounted to 1.2%, the Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Ministry of Ukraine has said. Earlier, it forecasted GDP contraction at 0.9%. Read More
  • Business expects a 50% drop in profits in 2020, with 28% expecting a 60% drop. Only 4% expect an increase, according to the second wave of research by Advanter Group, conducted on 22-30 April. In comparison to March, there was an increase in the number of dismissed employees (15%) and those sent to unpaid leave (20%). Read More
  • Ukrainian IT sector demonstrated a 20-40% drop in vacancies, the lowest demand level since 2017. However, the number of vacancies for a remote type of jobs has not changed. Read More



3D printing company produces protective equipment in Armenia

EU4Business-supported “AugmentAR” 3D printing company in cooperation with other IT laboratories printed over 4,000 masks and glasses and donated to 50 hospitals in Armenia. Read More

Armenia Startup Academy supported by EU4Business starts an intensive mentorship-based program

It will select 5-6 companies and work with them very intensively for 10 weeks supporting in expanding to international markets and fundraising. Read More


#StartBusinessChallenge in Ukraine presents full-fledged recommendations for business during the quarantine

BRDO together with SME Development Office developed cases for safe operations during quarantine for 53 types of businesses and integrated them into #StartBusinessChallenge platform. Read More