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What types of support does EU offer to SMEs to withstand the crisis?
Through its EU4Business Initiative, EU is supporting small and medium businesses (SMEs) in the following 3 areas:
Anti-crisis business support services
advisory and learning opportunities, including sectoral education programmes, online trainings and consultations from reputable experts
Access to finance
special credit terms in partnership with selected Armenian banks, as well as grants for SMEs in certain business sectors
Better governance
promotion of e-governance with online services
Where can I get a credit or a loan?
SEF International Universal Credit Organization LTD
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Inecobank CJSC
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Araratbank OJSC
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JSC Ameria Bank
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ACBA – Credit Agricol Bank CJSC
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Where can I get advice for my business?
The Fund provides state support to SMEs in Armenia through State Support Programmes where SMEs can find information about establishment of SMEs, their internationalization, available financial opportunities, business development services etc.
Entrepreneurs can find support of their activities, protection of their rights, ways how SMEs can be integrated into the local and international markets.
Entrepreneurs can find all relevant information about the SME sector, state support programmes, documents and legislation, projects and activities by different organizations, opportunities provided under different initiatives and programmes.
This portal provides funding to the RA commercial banks and universal credit organizations in order to make lending to micro, small and medium size private enterprises efficient and profitable.
Provides know-how and expertise through its tailored three-month programme, which has so far trained almost 300 entrepreneurs while also helping them to raise funding to bring their ideas to the market.
The Women in Business programme helps women-led small and medium-sized enterprises to access the finance and the know-how they need to grow.
On this portal SMEs can find useful resources and links to administrate business and get online services, learn about the latest legislative updates.
The center provides ready-to-go solutions and support to women entrepreneurs, especially at the critical early stages to help them build strong, sustainable businesses.
A comprehensive program of supporting small and medium-sized entreprises with business advice to improve their performance and grow.

What help is available from my government?
The Government of Armenia is taking measures to battle the outcomes of the economic lockdown and respond to challenges that all businesses, especially SMEs are facing.

The Government initiated 17 programs (Actions) to address the economic and social impact of COVID-19, among which 6 are related to economic impact, 11 are related to social.

Measures to defer certain payments, including taxes and social security contributions:

  • In case of the delay in payment of taxes, the amount of the fine paid by the taxpayer in the amount of 0.075% for each overdue day is replaced by the amount of 0.04%;
  • From now on, the basis for seizing taxpayers’ property will be AMD 1.5 million( approx. EUR 2,777) or more of the amount of the unfulfilled tax liability (instead of the previous AMD 500 thousand or more (approx. EUR 925). The goal of this project is to raise the threshold for unpaid obligations since business entities have financial difficulties related to COVID-19.
  • As of 07.05.2020 the import of some agricultural and medical products has been exempted from customs duties. The State Revenue Committee reports that the import of certain goods into the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union has been exempted from customs duties as part of new coronavirus prevention measures.
  • Action #1 Co-financing, refinancing, subsidy (target is determined based on purpose of spending)

    The beneficiaries are economic entities with positive credit and tax history. Every economic entity is entitled to receive only one of the following methods of assistance. SMEs can receive support by applying to one of the Armenian commercial banks or credit organizations to receive a loan for specific purposes (payroll, taxes, duties and mandatory payments, raw material, equipment, utility, food):

    • co-financing is to address the problem of lack of collateral and improve other lending terms;
    • refinancing is to deal with currency-related risks and improve other lending terms;
    • subsidy is to tackle the interest rate problem and improve other lending terms.

    The terms are valid for loans equivalent of up to AMD 250 million (approx. EUR 462,167). Application: through banks and credit organziations.

    Read more

  • Action #2 Interest rate subsidy for agriculture (for cooperative farms – in the form of co-financing, including financial lease)

    Beneficiaries are resident economic entities or individuals with good credit and tax record, as well as cooperative farms representing agriculture sector. Support is provided in the form of interest rate subsidy; for cooperative farms – in the form of co-financing, including financial lease, is valid for all types of agricultural purposes.

    Application: through banks and credit organziations.

    Read more

  • Action #3 Loans (AMD 2.5 million to AMD 50 million(approx. EUR 4,621-EUR 92,433) depending on the amount of turnover)

    Targeting SMEs, the resident economic entities with good credit and tax record (i.e. no administrative proceedings have been instituted against 365 days prior to the date of submission of the application), operating in the the areas:

    • processing industry;
    • accommodation and public catering;
    • transportation and storage;
    • tourism services;
    • other tertiary services;
    • healthcare.

    The applicant shall have:

    • annual turnover AMD 24 million to AMD 500 million(approx. EUR 44,368-EUR 924,334) in 2019;
    • quarterly turnover not less than 10% of the annual turnover in 2019.

    Maximum loan amount: AMD 50 million( approx EUR 92,433), interest rate for the first two years is 0%, and 12% - for the third year.

    Applications have to be filed with the Investment Support Center of the Ministry of Economy.

    Ministry of Economy

    Read more

  • Action #5 One-time grant on job support

    Project applies to SMEs with 2 to 50 employees, in the period from 01.01.2020 to 01.04.2020, and the actual wage fund did not decrease in the period under review.

  • Provides one-time grant, in the amount of the salary of every 5th employee.

    Potential beneficiaries: more than 12,000 businesses.

    The State Revenue Committee will process the application in an automated manner.

    Read more

  • Action #8 Օne-time assistance (Program addresses the social impact of COVID-19, but related to SMEs)

    Beneficiaries are those individuals who were employed in the spheres listed below or were self-employed on March 13-30, 2020:

    • hotel;
    • public catering;
    • tourism;
    • hairdressing and beauty salon;
    • retail;
    • ground transportation;
    • preschool institutions (private kindergartens);
    • sporting activites, entertainment and other leisure activitie.

    50% of the average salary of an employee in January-February, but not more than AMD 136,000(EUR 251), if the beneficiary worked full time, not less than AMD 68,000(EUR 126), Self-employed entities shall be supported at the rate of 10% of the turnover posted in the 4th quarter of 2019, but not more than AMD 136,000(EUR 251).

    Where to apply: Read more

    State Revenue Committee under the Government of the Republic of Armenia: the template of application online - Read more

    Read more

  • Action#10 Օne-time assistance to micro-enterprises

    Beneficiaries: micro-enterprises,

    Support: one-time assistance in the amount of 10% of the turnover of goods, services provided in the first quarter of 2020, but not more than double the minimum wage.

    Basic terms and conditions:

    • The applicant was registered as a family business in 2019, or
    • The applicant was a natural person not registered as a self-employed entity in 2019, had a tax exemption license, or
    • The applicant has been a natural person not registered as a self-employed entity since January 1, 2020; he or she was not registered in the way specified in sub-paragraphs 1 and 2 of this clause, neither were they registered as self-employed entities in the period under review.
  • Action#17 One-time grant to successful entrepreneurs in high-tech industry

    Beneficiaries are those business entities that meet the criteria specified in the RA Law on State Support in the Sphere of Information Technologies,

    Basic conditions:

    • As of the day of submitting the application, the beneficiaries did not have overdue tax and credit obligations during the last 12 months.
    • As of the day of submitting the application, the beneficiaries had not received a grant from the High-Tech Ministry during the last 12 months.
    • Beneficiaries should have been registered in Armenia over the past two years as manufacturers, or registered in Armenia for more than 2 years in case of services;
    • Or technology companies that will attract documented and approved investments.

    Read more

  • Action #18 Companies with up to 100 employees.

    The government will pay salaries to every fifth employee for those employers and companies that have saved their jobs and the payroll amount during the crisis.

This information is based on information from publicly available websites on 8 May, 2020. EU4Business is not responsible for accuracy and continued availability of these facilities.

Do any EU4Business projects give grants for SMEs?

Grants for SMEs are available through a number of programmes.

COSME programme offers support for SMEs, clusters and business support organizations with trade opportunities, increasing competitiveness of Armenian enterprises, encouraging the development of entrepreneurship.
Valid until 21.12.2022 with total budget for grants € 165 434. Read more

EU-GAIA – EU Green Agriculture Initiative in Armenia.
The programme aimes to support the Northern provinces of Armenia through boosting green agriculture in agri businesses through to inputs, equipment, infrastructures and services.
Valid until 01.10.2024 with total budget for grants € 2 425 000. Read more

The project has an overall objective to ensure shared and balanced inclusive growth in tourism and innovative industries. This will be achieved through: (1) transformative, innovative tourism ventures in the Northern regions of Armenia; (2) support to high tech and innovative entrepreneurs; (3) international knowledge exchanges for high tech researchers; (4) networks for the benefit of entrepreneurship culture for students and general population groups.
Valid until 31.10.2024 with total budget for grants € 3 375 000. Read more

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