The ICF, backed by the Government of Catalonia, makes nearly 1.1 billion euros available to businesses to meet liquidity needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis

04 May 2020

In addition to credit lines and guarantees amounting to 1 billion euros, the ICF and the European Commission are setting up a new 70 million euro financing solution, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to help Catalan SMEs affected by the pandemic to cover their liquidity needs.

Barcelona, 4 May 2020. The ICF, backed by the Government of Catalonia, is making around 1.1 billion euros available to self-employed workers, companies and entities to meet liquidity needs arising from the COVID -19 health crisis. The entity, which has already developed specific financing solutions to support the economy during the pandemic, is launching a new credit line, ICF Eurocrèdit COVID-19, with initial funding amounting to 70 million euros.

1.1 billion euros for the self-employed, SMEs and companies

The “ICF-Avalis Liquiditat COVID-19” and “ICF Crèdit COVID-19” solutions will provide 1 billion euros in funding to strengthen Catalonia's business fabric. This funding is available through two specific solutions which are already in operation.

Since the beginning of April, self-employed workers and SMEs have been able to apply for “ICF-Avalis liquidity COVID-19” loans. They can apply for loans of between 50,000 euros and 1 million euros, either through the ICF or via a financial institution affiliated to the agreement. In total, the Avalis fund will make 300 million euros available to the business community.

And since last week, the ICF has offered an active loan and guarantee solution, “ICF Crèdit COVID-19”, with total funding of 700 million euros. This line of financing will allow the ICF to grant loans of up to 2.5 million euros to self-employed workers and companies. In addition, the ICF may also provide guarantees for loans granted by financial institutions directly related to COVID-19. The ICF can issue guarantees up to a maximum of 80% of the principal, with a cap of 5 million euros per company.

In addition to these two lines of financing, the ICF and the European Commission, with the support of the Department of the Vice-Presidency and the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Government of Catalonia, are launching a new 70 million euro credit line, “ICF Eurocrèdit COVID-19”, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).The new credit line has two purposes: firstly, to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic on companies and, secondly, to ensure economic activity can continue during and after COVID-19.

The credit line is targeted at micro, small and medium-sized companies that have been affected by COVID-19. They must have between five and 250 workers and turnover of below 50 million euros or no more than 43 million euros on their balance sheets.

The loans granted will be from 250,000 euros to 2 million euros. The repayment period will be up to five years, with a period of grace of up to one year.

This new financing solution will complement the 184 million euro “ICF Eurocrèdit” line that the ICF and the European Commission launched in 2017 to boost the growth of SMEs within the current ERDF operational programme (2014-2020).

Funding for sectors affected by COVID-19

In addition to these lines, the ICF has specific loans for the cultural sector. At the end of March, the ICF and the Department of Culture, through the ICEC, set up the “ICF Cultura liquiditat” line of loans to cover the working capital needs of companies and cultural entities affected by the health emergency. The 10 million euro credit line allows businesses in this sector to apply for loans of between 20,000 euros and 300,000 euros.

The ICF, together with other departments of the Government of Catalonia, is working to develop other specific financing solutions for sectors which have been seriously affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

About the ICF

The ICF is the public financial entity of Catalonia. It has as a main mission to promote the funding of the entrepreneurial fabric in Catalonia in order to contribute to the growth, the innovation and the sustainability of the Catalan economy. In this sense, it commits itself actively to the achievement of the Objectives of Sustainable Development in accordance to the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations.

The ICF acts as complement of the private financial sector, offering an extense range|gamma of solutions of funding centered on loans, guarantees and investment in venture capital. Since 2014 it is a member of the European Association of Public Banks|Benches (EAPB), that he|she groups big part of the banks|benches and the public financial entities that work in Europe.

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