State aid: Commission approves €102 million Bulgarian scheme to support medium-sized companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a BGN 200 million (approximately €102 million) Bulgarian scheme to support medium-sized companies affected by 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 and 8 May 2020. 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 the primary 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. The Commission found that the Bulgarian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid will be granted before 31 December 2020 and will not exceed €800,000 per company. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.57795 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.