The European Commission has approved 40 milion euro (300 milion kn) Croatian program to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the cultural sector and the creative industries, which have been among the most affected by the coronavirus epidemic. The ban on gatherings, the cancellation of cultural events, the closure of theaters, cinemas and concert halls have had a significant economic impact on entrepreneurs, independent artists and other people active in the cultural sector.
The measure was approved on the basis of the Temporary Framework for State Aid adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as last amended on 3 April and 8 May 2020. The aid will take the form of public guarantees for loans up to a maximum of EUR 800 000. The state guarantee will cover 100% of the loan. The aim of the program is to ensure the liquidity of SMEs affected by coronavirus, thus enabling them to continue their activities, start investing and preserve jobs.
Companies operating in the cultural sector and the creative industry are eligible for support under this program. The measure is expected to support up to 1,000 companies. The Commission has determined that the Croatian program complies with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid does not exceed EUR 800 000 per company. The Commission concluded that the measure was necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy the serious disturbances in the economy of the Member State in accordance with Article 107 (3) (b) TFEU and the conditions of the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure in accordance with EU state aid rules.
A non-confidential version of this decision will be published under case number SA.57595 in the State aid register on the Commission's competition website when possible issues regarding data confidentiality have been resolved.