EURADA seeks to collect and summarise information relevant to RDAs, regional and local authorities, and others on how the current medical and economic chaos is being dealt with. The sharing of information and examples of others’ initiatives can be of huge help in getting through this time of trials.
The health emergency caused by the novel coronavirus has proven to be an uphill struggle that is putting a strain on the world economy, in particular that of Europe. European countries are, to greater or lesser degrees, suffering from the same pain and lockdowns so as to limit the spread of the virus. As a result, many sectors of our economies have been severely affected and the efforts required of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to resist bankruptcy are immense. More than ever, Europe, its citizens, and its economy must be supported by short-term financial aid to allow for more resilience against the pandemic and its ensuing economic downturn. Individual countries, European and non-European institutions, Regional Development Agencies, Civil Society Organisations, and other actors are strongly mobilising to work out not only short-term solutions, but also innovative strategies for bringing about an economic revival after the initial outbreak.
EURADA is proactively committed to following and monitoring the latest developments, dedicating an entire section to Covid-19 on its website. The aim of this is to keep its partners and followers updated on the socio-economic measures and best practices undertaken. As far as EURADA can see, RDAs are greatly contributing to help SMEs; some are sharing advice by holding webinars and running helplines for companies, others offer comprehensive sets of financial instruments such as loans and other credit opportunities to ensure companies have the cash liquidity to make upcoming payments. Several RDAs have developed platforms to link industrial initiatives, to meet medical needs and to facilitate collaboration between companies.
To give a clearer idea, take the example of Andalucía. The measures taken there cover a wide range, aiming to facilitate the continuity of industrial activity. The government has assigned a subsidy to the Andalusian mutual guarantee society so that it can endorse financial operations established by companies and businesses. The RDA IDEA has up to €22 million at its disposal in the form of a funding line for digital transformation projects for SMEs so they can implement the necessary changes to continue their activities remotely. Also, a telematic urgent procedure or lay-off submission has been enabled, valid only for force majeure cases.
Or look at Navarra. The regional government there has, through the Regional Development Agency SODENA, signed an agreement with different entities to support companies and self-employed workers against the economic effects of Covid-19. More specifically, the measure will back the concession of endorsements for new financing operations up to a total of €100 million. The operation’s risk will be covered, as SODENA will assume 20% of the counter-guarantees usually demanded, while the remaining amount will be charged to the mutual guarantee companies which are part of the agreement and to the state guarantee society.
Our Covid-19 page is continuously updated with the latest developments and measures taken by European Institution. The majority of the proposals, such as the Corona Response Investment Initiative (CRII) or Support Mitigating Unemployment Risks in Emergency (SURE), are geared towards safeguarding SMEs and workers. Many of the articles linked to contain detailed guidelines on how to proceed with the various economic initiatives proposed by the European institutions and other institutions, in order to avoid bureaucratic redundancy and speed up the time spent applying. EURADA also highlights additional initiatives of economic responses launched by civil society, thinktanks, and other actors which have mobilised significantly to overcome the current challenges.
As the world moves on from the initial shock phase into a period of strategic, long-term recovery, EURADA is committed to continuing to support SMEs, regional authorities, and our other beneficiaries in getting themselves and the broader European economy back on the front foot again.
Written by Brixhilda Cepaj, Intern at EURADA