Bulgaria to reallocate 79.8 mln euro in EU funds to crisis-hit businesses – report

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Bulgaria’s government will re-allocate 156 million levs ($96.7 million/79.8 million euro) in EU funds to support businesses closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, local media reported.

The funds will be provided under the EU’s operational programme Innovations and Competitiveness, economy minister Lachezar Borissov said as quoted by state broadcaster BNR on Wednesday.

The government will be able to provide financial support amounting to up to 20% of a company’s lost revenue, depending on the extent to which the company is affected by the most recent restrictions on the operations of businesses in the country in the context of the pandemic, Borissov said.

Closed businesses could lose about 1 billion levs in revenue as a result of the new restrictions, the economy minister also said.

At the end of last month, Bulgaria introduced a new programme worth 50 million levs, provided under the EU’s operational programme Human Resouces Development 2014-2020, through the REACT-EU mechanism. The new support scheme benefits employees of businesses that have discontinued their operations under the orders of the authorities that aim to limit the spread of Covid-19 and relieve pressure on the health system.

Employees hired for eight-hour workdays who were put on unpaid leave by their employers during the coronavirus crisis will be eligible for a financial compensation of 24 levs for each day of the leave, for a period of up to 60 days, the labour ministry said at the time.

Earlier in November, the government has approved an extension of the state of epidemic emergency introduced over the spread of Covid-19 until the end of January 2021. All restaurants, gyms, shopping malls, and casinos are closed and attendance at universities, schools, kindergartens and nurseries is suspended.

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