We hope the mentioned good practice case will encourage other governments and policymakers to do the same in their respective countries. Exhibitions and trade shows are the fastest of fast-tracks to economic recovery once the coronavirus crisis has passed and will deliver the best return on investment now. We sincerely thank UFI, EEIA, and EMECA for providing valuable information.
CASE STUDY: CROATIA
Croatia was one of the most aiding countries when it came to the meetings and exhibitions industry. Their financial aid helped the industry persevere.
Measures related to public guarantees:
On 18 June 2020, an approximately €40 million (HRK 300 million) Croatian scheme was announced to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in the cultural sector and the creative industry, which were among the most affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The ban on gathering and cancelling cultural events, closing theatres, cinemas and concert halls has had significant economic effects on entrepreneurs, independent artists and others active in the culture sector. The support takes the form of public guarantees on loans with a nominal loan amount of up to a maximum of €800,000. The State guarantee will cover 100% of the loan. The scheme aims at providing liquidity to SMEs affected by the coronavirus outbreak, thus enabling them to continue their activities, start investments and maintain employment. Companies active in the cultural sector and the creative industry are eligible for aid under this scheme. The measure is expected to support up to 1,000 enterprises.
On 30 June 2020, an approximately €80 million (HRK 600 million) Croatian scheme to support enterprises active in the maritime, transport, travel, infrastructure and related sectors that have
been severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The support will take the form of State guarantees on new loans from banks or other financial institutions. The State guarantee will cover up to 90% of the loans. The scheme aims at providing liquidity to enterprises of all sizes affected by the coronavirus outbreak, thus enabling them to continue their activities, start investments and maintain employment. The scheme is expected to support over 1,000 companies.
Measures related to public guarantees, loans, tax deferrals:
On 12 January 2021, the Commission approved a Croatian State aid scheme of approximately €202 million to support businesses of all sizes active in the sports and tourism sectors and in their directly related sectors, such as hotels and restaurants, affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the Temporary Framework for state aid, the aid, in the form of guarantees on new working capital and investment loans, and subsidised interest rates for new loans, aims to help eligible companies access liquidity and continue their economic activity.