The European Commission approved the following under the temporary framework,

  • On 30 March 2021, the Commission approved the modification of a scheme providing wage support to employers and the self-employed in sectors most affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Under the state aid Temporary Framework, the scheme, first approved in July 2020 and previously extended in December 2020, was granted a second extension until end-2021, a budgetary increase from approximately €20.5 million to around €76.7 million, and amendments extending the scope of the eligible beneficiaries.
     

  • on 20 January, a €79 million Bulgarian scheme to support micro, small, and medium enterprises affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Under the state aid Temporary Framework the scheme, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, is accessible to enterprises in certain sectors whose activities were suspended or limited by governmental restrictive measures imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The support aims to help the beneficiaries cover part of their operating costs, and support activities necessary to overcome the shortage of funds or lack of liquidity.

 

  • on 21 December, the Commission approved a €26 million Bulgarian scheme to support tour operators and travel agents in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. Under the state aid Temporary Framework, the public support will take the form of direct grants. The grants aim to refund customers and cover the costs incurred by operators to carry out their main activities. The aim of the measure is to help the beneficiaries address the liquidity shortages faced due to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

  • on 16 December, a €40 million Bulgarian scheme to support small enterprises affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Under the state aid Temporary Framework, the public support will take the form of direct grant of €25,565 per beneficiary, to cover part of their operating costs. The scheme, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, will be accessible to small enterprises active in certain sectors and meeting certain requirements defined by Bulgaria. The aim of the measure is to help beneficiaries overcome the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak and maintain employment.

 

  • on 1 December, a €15 million Bulgarian scheme to support micro, small and medium-sized coach companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Under the state aid Temporary Framework, the measure aims to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that businesses are facing due to the extent of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their operations. The support, in the form of direct grants between €1,500 and €230.000, was earmarked to partially cover the operating costs of the transport of passengers by coach or bus from 1 February 2020 until six months after the entry into force of the grant agreement.

 

  • on 27 August 2020, a BGN 56.6 million (approximately €29 million) Bulgarian scheme to support farmers breeding large and small ruminants and potato growers affected by coronavirus outbreak. The public support will take the form of direct grants covering part of the principal amount and interest due on loans previously provided to the beneficiaries by the State Fund for Agriculture. The purpose of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and help them to continue their activities during and after the coronavirus outbreak.

 

  • on 14 August 2020, a €4.4 million Bulgarian support measure to Burgas and Varna airports in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The public support will take the form of a deferral of the payments of the concession fees due by Fraport Twin Star Airport Management AD, the company managing the two airports, to the Bulgarian government which owns the airports' infrastructures. The purpose of the measure is to help the two airports addressing the liquidity shortages that they are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak, by reducing the costs borne by the airport operator.

 

  • a €28 million (BGN 55 million) Bulgarian scheme to support tour operators forced to limit or suspend their activities due to restrictions in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the measure, tour operators are entitled to receive €35 for each passenger that has booked a travel package with them, which includes a flight into Bulgaria. Eligibility is restricted to flights between 14 May and 31 December 2020. The scheme will be in the form of a direct grant. The measure is open to all tour operators and carriers regardless of the country of registration and to all travellers regardless of the country of origin. The objective of the measure is to stimulate incoming tourism. It will facilitate access to finance and mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that the affected companies are facing.

 

  • on 15 July 2020, two Bulgarian wage subsidies support schemes for preserving employment in the sectors most affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The first scheme is a prolongation and modification of the wage subsidy scheme approved by the Commission on 14 April 2020, known in Bulgaria as the “60/40” aid scheme. The main changes to the existing scheme concern the extension of the measure to three additional sectors (other education, dental practice and other human health services) and three additional categories of eligible employees, as well as its prolongation until the end of the year 2020. The modified scheme will be funded within the initially approved budget of BGN 1.5 billion (approximately €770 million). The second scheme, with an estimated budget of BGN 40 million (approximately €20.5 million), will provide aid in the form of direct grants of BGN 290 (approximately €148) per beneficiary per month and is open to companies of all sizes and self-employed persons active in the sectors most affected by the coronavirus outbreak (transport, hotels, restaurants and travel agencies). The scheme will be co-financed by the European Social Fund and will last maximum until the end of the year 2020. Both measures aim at avoiding layoffs and ensuring the continuation of business activities during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

  • on 29 June 2020, a BGN 200 million (approximately €102 million) Bulgarian scheme to support medium-sized companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The public support will be co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (€87 million). It will take the form of direct grants of up to €75,000 per company and will be accessible to companies active in all sectors, except in theprimary production and processing of agricultural products, fishery, aquaculture, forestry and the financial and gambling sectors. The purpose of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of medium-sized companies and to help them to continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The measure is expected to benefit approximately 1,500 medium-sized companies.

 

  • on 13 May 2020, an €88 million (approximately BGN 173 million) scheme to support the Bulgarian micro and small companies in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The support measures available under the scheme will be to a large part co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (€75 million). The support will take the form of grants. The purpose of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of micro and small companies, including self-employed, and to help them to continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The scheme will be accessible to companies active in different sectors except agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry. It is estimated that approximately 17,300 micro and small enterprises will benefit from this support.

 

  • on 23 April 2020, a Bulgarian scheme to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. Under the Bulgarian scheme, the public support will take the form of equity and quasi-equity investments. The scheme, which will be open to SMEs active in all sectors with certain exceptions defined by Bulgaria, aims at enhancing access to liquidity by those companies that are most severely affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, thus helping them to continue their activities, start investments and maintain employment.

 

  • on 8 April 2020, a Bulgarian public guarantee scheme to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The Bulgarian support measure is a guarantee scheme on existing or new loans to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak (so-called “Intermediated SME Loan Guarantee Program”). Following a BGN 500 million (€255 million) State-funded capital increase of the Bulgarian Development Bank AD, the latter will provide public guarantees on investment loans and working capital loans to micro, small and medium-sized companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Bulgaria. The scheme aims at limiting the risk associated with issuing loans to those companies that are most severely affected by the economic impact of the current crisis. It will help businesses cover their immediate working capital or investment needs and ensure that they have sufficient liquidity to continue their activities.

 

  • a BGN 1.5 billion (approximately €770 million) Bulgarian wage subsidies support scheme for preserving employment in the sectors most affected by the confinement measures put in place due to the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020. The wage subsidy aid scheme will allow the Bulgarian authorities to finance 60% of the wage costs (including the employers' social security contributions) of undertakings that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, would otherwise lay off personnel. The measure is restricted to undertakings active in the sectors most affected by the current public health crisis, such as retail, tourism, passenger transport, culture, sports activities, amusement and recreation activities and others.