The European Investment Bank is exploring the effects of the Covid-19 in “Does This Change Everything?”, a series of podcasts with experts.
One of the talks was dedicated to the challenges small businesses are facing. The protagonist was Anna Fusari, Head of Division for Banks and Corporates in the Adriatic Sea region at the EIB.
SMEs are particularly hit by the crisis and offering them support is crucial as they represent the backbone of our economy. According to Anna Fusari the first answer is to offer support in terms of liquidity, for example by extending credit holidays and grace periods for capital payments. It is also important to facilitate the access to new financial support, by providing additional working capital facilities, or liquidity lines such as factoring and overdraft.
Several Member States have put in place measures which foresee holiday periods imposed by law for capital instalments on existing loans, and public guarantees in order to incentivize banks to support SMEs.
It is crucial – states Anna Fusari – to focus on measures that can be implemented quickly under existing instruments, to be able to provide an immediate response, while in parallel developing also other initiatives such as risk sharing schemes with commercial banks.
Listen to the podcast here.