About this good practice
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused serious economic losses to all SMEs, especially to transport SMEs, from the beginning of March 2020. In April 2020 the Romanian Government established a scheme called “Working capital for restarting economic activities for SMEs” to support to small and medium companies affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The support scheme started on 01 July 2020 through joint collaboration between the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Economy, under the coordination of the Ministry of European Investments and Projects.
All SMEs that were facing financial problems were able to request non-reimbursable financing of up to €125,000. The grant would cover mainly stocks of raw material, supplier debts and equipment.
The scheme was opened also to SMEs operating in Transport sectors particularly affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, such as: transport and storage, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, manufacturing etc.
The allocated budget for this call is Euro 350,000,000. The funds come from ERDF 2014-2020.
Evidence of success
The scheme received over 100,000 applications. It is still difficult to measure the effects of the scheme. However, considering the critical and dynamical evolution of Covid-19 situation in Romania and based on measures taken by European Union states, the Romanian Transport SMEs that received support through the scheme have at least managed to stop their decline and keep their workers employed. The good practice is indicated as a support tool to SMEs in an emergency situation.
Potential for learning or transfer
These grant products played an important role in helping transport SMEs and also promoting the transport SMEs agenda and are expected to continue to do so in the 2021-2027 period.
The grants adopted by the Romanian Government are meant to reinforce capacity building and to help transport SMEs to be more resilient in the difficult context of Covid-19. The measure proved to move the transport SMEs sector onto a safer and stabler path.