ZAGREB (Croatia), February 5 (SeeNews) - Croatia's government adopted new measures worth 1.5 billion kuna ($237.7 million/198.4 million euro) to help businesses operating in tourism and sports during the Covid-19 pandemic, the ministry of tourism and sport said.
The state aid should provide the companies with more liquidity and easier access to funding under favourable conditions, helping them survive, preserve employees, mitigate business challenges and recover, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Under the plan, some 1 billion kuna will be allocated to micro, small and medium enterprises in the form of loan guarantees which will cover 100% of the principal amount. The remaining 500 million kuna will be provided to large enterprises in the form of loan guarantees that will cover up to 90% of the loan principal.
The programme will be implemented by the ministry of tourism and sport, in cooperation with the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR), the Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO) and commercial banks. It has already been approved by the European Commission, according to the statement.
The combined turnover of companies in the tourism and hospitality sectors in Croatia fell by 45.1% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2020, the country's financial agency, FINA, said in January. Arts, entertainment and recreation firms saw their combined turnover fall by an annual 30.2% in the January-September period.
(1 euro = 7.56007 kuna)