Financing Scheme for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
The Co-operative Movement, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank, is offering the Financing Scheme for Small and Medium Enterprises 2014, exclusively for investments in Cyprus. The Co-operative Movement is continuing the cooperation it started in 2010 and is offering a new attractive financing product with the aim of financing new development projects of Cyprus companies and combating youth unemployment. The total amount that will be made available under the scheme is €68m.
The aim of the Scheme is to provide companies with the capital required for their growth at an attractive financing cost and long-term repayment period. Inaddition, one part of the Scheme provides for additional support for companies which employ young people or which provide professional support for young people.
The scheme is open to small and medium-sized enterprises, that is companies with fewer than 250 employees (full time) and medium-sized enterprises, namely companies with at least 250 and a maximum of 3,000 employees (full time). Also eligible are the self-employed, partnerships, unions, family firms and trade names.
Aims of Financing
The aims of the Scheme are to finance development projects and working capital of small and medium-sized enterprises. More specifically:
• Purchase, renewal /replacement/ renovation or expansion of fixed assets (the purchase of land is permitted if it is considered essential for the investment).
• Investments in intangible assets (expenditure for R&D, creation of a distribution network in domestic and other markets outside the European Union)
• Medium term and long term working capital needs
The loans will be channeled to beneficiaries by the Co-operative Credit Institutions
Size of loan: Up to €500,000
Maximum length of loan: Up to 12 years
Grace period: Up to 2 years
Interest rate: Steady interest rate from 3.3% for the entire repayment period of the loan. In cases where the company falls within the scheme “Jobs for young people” the interest rate is 0.50% lower.
Collateral: Personal and other guarantees
Evaluation of applications: All the applications are reviewed by the Co-operative Credit Institutions within the framework of their lending policy and the relevant regulations of the Central Bank of Cyprus.
State aid regulations: The amount of state aid that each applicant benefits from should not exceed the permitted levels set by the Commissioner for State Aid based on European and National laws.
More information on the website www.euloans.coop.com.cy as well as the local branches of the Co-operative Credit Institutions and the Co-operative Central Bank.
2. In order to qualify for the initiative “Jobs for young people” a final beneficiary must fulfil at least one of the following three criteria:
• The final beneficiary confirms that in the past six months he has hired and continues to employ at least one (5 for medium-sized companies) young person or plans to hire at least one young person (at least 5 for medium-sized companies) in the next six months, as from the signing of the loan agreement; or
• The final beneficiary offers professional training to young people or internships/ training for young people; or
• The final beneficiary has an active cooperation agreement with a technical school or university to employ young people (e.g. for their summer placements).
A ‘young’ person is an individual aged over 15 and under 25 at the time when he/she can benefit from the specific scheme (employment, training, placement)