The European Commission has approved a scheme to support the Portuguese fishery and aquaculture sector in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission.
‘This Portuguese scheme will enable the provision of loans worth up to €20 million at subsidised interest rates to small and medium-sized enterprises active in the fishery and aquaculture sector,’ said Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy.
‘It will help these companies cover their immediate liquidity needs and continue their activities in these difficult times. We continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a co-ordinated and effective way, in line with EU rules.’
Portugal notified the Commission under the Temporary Framework a €20 million credit line scheme to support companies in the fishery and aquaculture sector affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The public support will consist in the provision of loans worth up to €20 million with subsidised interest rates, to help companies active in the fishery and aquaculture sector (including fishing companies, producers’ organisations and companies active in the processing of fishery and aquaculture products) overcome cash difficulties arising from the current crisis.
The scheme, which will be accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, aims at enabling those companies that are most affected by the current crisis, to have access, at reduced costs, to the financial means they need to maintain their activities.
The Commission found that the Portuguese measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. Under these conditions, loan contracts will have to be signed by 31st December 2020 and are limited to maximum six years, the total amount of the loan granted per company shall not exceed 25% of its total turnover in 2019, with some exceptions in duly justified cases, and the underlying loan amount per company is limited to what is needed to cover its liquidity needs for the foreseeable future.