€10m finance package to help Bulgarian cultural and creative SMEs hit by pandemic

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 12 October 2020

The European Commission has agreed a €10 million finance package to help Bulgarian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small public enterprises in the cultural and creative sectors that have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD have signed a guarantee agreement enabling the bank to increase its lending capacity to affected businesses and organisations in the Balkan state.

The guarantee agreement is backed by the Commission's Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS GF), which is managed by the EIF, and also supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Executive Vice-President, said: “People working in cultural and creative SMEs have been especially affected by the lockdown measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am glad that this funding agreement with Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria, supported by EFSI, will make additional resources available to sustain jobs in the cultural and creative sector, which is so vital for maintaining Europe's cultural diversity and quality of life.”

EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard added: “We are happy to be leveraging our long-standing cooperation with Raiffeisenbank to help Bulgarian businesses sustain jobs during the COVID-19 economic recovery.”

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