Weekly Digest on Impact on SMEs in EAP (July 3, 2020)


  • VTB bank joins the governmental 3rd assistance action programme aimed at mitigating the liquidity risk of SMEs to offset consequences of coronavirus pandemic jointly with the Ministry of Economy and the Investment Support Center. It enables small businesses to claim loans at 0% rate in the first 2 years, and 12% for the rest of the maturity period (the effective annual interest rate is 1.37%). https://bit.ly/2ZgsDgU
  • Changes made in the 20th action adopted by the Armenian government to combat the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will allow micro-business to get support by applying for it until July 15, 2020. https://bit.ly/2BX1o2X


  • Full damage of COVID-19 pandemic to Azerbaijani economy is yet to be assessed, Economy Minister Mikail Jabbarov said. He claimed that the situation led to decrease in both export and import operations and said that government would keep implementing measures to support the national economy. https://bit.ly/3dKBnkR
  • The Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan developed an online lending platform for entrepreneurs affected by coronavirus pandemic. Through this platform entrepreneurs can apply for bank loans. 15 banks are now connected to the system. The loans will be provided in 10 days. Entrepreneurs can apply for loans up to 3 million AZN (1.77 million) with a repayment holiday period of 12 months. https://bit.ly/2NKGoPy


  • 49.7% of the surveyed Belarusians experienced decline in earnings in June. 55% of the population earned less than they had before the pandemic. Every fifth person has faced reduced working hours and unpaid leave. https://bitly.su/VAn66
  • More than 420 employers sought advice on the application of the Presidential Decree “On temporary measures of state support for employers and certain categories of citizens”. 44 of them applied for support. The city government will transfer the requested amounts to nine employers for payments to employees, five organizations were denied, and others are still resolving the issue. https://bitly.su/UBA8
  • According to the May surveys, 68.3% of SMEs experienced fall in domestic demand, 30.7% of SMEs increased accounts receivable, and rental payments did not decrease although 21.8% of SMEs experienced a drop in revenue. In general, 74% of enterprises faced decline in revenue in May (64% in April), and over a third of SMEs recorded drop in revenue by 40% or more. https://bitly.su/LMHbL
  • According to the Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship, only 2-3% of business entities interested in business support measures actually used them. https://bitly.su/iRq0xGfQ


  • In May 2020, 91,000 fewer people in Georgia received their salaries, than in February-March 2020, which is 11% decrease, TBC Research shows. https://bit.ly/38anziv
  • The cost of goods and services purchased through e-commerce in the country has dropped by 17%, in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. https://bit.ly/2NEpZMM
  • The Georgian parliament has approved the anti-crisis budget, which reflects additional necessary expenditures of 3.4 billion GEL (about $1.13b) needed to combat the coronavirus, support economic sectors and treat patients. https://bit.ly/3i97QET
  • Georgian self-employed citizens abroad and losing jobs will also receive one-time assistance of 300 GEL (about $94.19) from the government of Georgia in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Total budget for this programme is 75 million GEL (about $23.55m). https://agenda.ge/en/news/2020/2019
  • Over 66,000 farmers have already benefitted from the government’s agro-diesel programme, giving them the opportunity to receive more than 21,000 tons of diesel 1 GEL cheaper than the market price. The total budget of the programme is 40 million GEL ($12.53 m). https://bit.ly/3g53a0U
  • 90,775 employees who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus crisis, or are on unpaid leave, have already received the Georgian government’s first assistance of 200 GEL (about $62.79), which will be continued for six months. 93,867 self-employed people losing jobs have also received one-time assistance of 300 GEL (about $94.19). The total budget for this programme is 75 million GEL (about $23.55m). https://bit.ly/2ZjqMYY   

The Republic of Moldova

  • The pandemic is ruining businesses in Chisinau. Among the most affected are the owners of beauty salons. After three months of inactivity, they were left not only without customers but also without employees. https://bit.ly/3g8ofHK
  • According to the decision made by the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission, starting with July 1, all economic activities will be resumed, with a few exceptions. Rehabilitation centers, schools, universities, camps, and night clubs remain closed. https://bit.ly/2Bqzywj
  • The government has extended the subsidizing of salaries until July 31, for enterprises that are in a state of temporary unemployment or downtime. https://bit.ly/3id86Tb
  • The government has allocated 300 million MDL (17.5 million USD) to subsidize economic agents that have established temporary unemployment or downtime because of the epidemiological situation caused by COVID-19. The subsidy is granted in the amount of 60% to 100% of the income tax and other mandatory payments associated with salaries. https://bit.ly/2YLiBWk


  • According to the European Business Association survey, 68% of businesses have already fully or partially returned to the office. 60% of the surveyed entrepreneurs plan to keep the company’s staff unchanged, 28% are thinking about downsizing, another 13% are looking for new employees. Over the next six months, 69% of respondents plan to preserve the same salary level, 21% think about a salary reduction, and only 9% are thinking about a salary increase. https://eba.com.ua/en/yakymy-ye-prognozy-roboty-biznesu-ta-funktsionuvannya-ekonomiky/
  • Wage arrears in Ukraine in May increased by 4.9% and reached 105 mln euro by 30 June, states the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. The most affected industries are sport, art, entertainment, transport, warehousing and courier delivery (10% increase), education and medicine (7.6% and 7.4% respectively). https://interfax.com.ua/news/economic/672016.html
  • The labour market restarts, due to open borders and opportunities to find jobs abroad, and food prices have dropped 0.1-0.2% due to the seasonal supply, states NBU. https://interfax.com.ua/news/economic/669885.html

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