In order to encourage the recovery of pandemic-stricken small and medium-sized enterprises, the crowdfunding platform Finbee Verslui (Finbee for Business) is allocating 300 thousand euros for interest-free small business loans. The crowdfunding platform will cover interest and administrative costs for loans of up to 7 thousand euros through its own funds. It is planned that around fifty small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in our country and suffering due to COVID-19 will be able to make use of the loans.
According to Finbee Verslui director Audrius Griškevičius, this initiative aims to contribute to the state’s business stimulus measures. This summer, the country had an opportunity to witness how quickly businesses can recover – based on VMI data, the catering and accommodation sector saw 71% of recovering companies, while in the retail and manufacturing sectors, the indicator reached 50% and more. The stability of companies’ performance is also illustrated by Finbee Verslui data, which shows that of 1,564 loans valued at 71.6 million euros, issued through the crowdfunding platform under perhaps the most popular category “Loans to businesses most affected by COVID-19,” currently only five loans valued at 33.5 thousand euros, which is just 0.05%, are problematic.
“We believe that this crisis is short-term. We want to encourage businesses not to be afraid of thinking about the future, to prepare to renew their operations, or to become more efficient or expand because when the downturn ends, those who are better prepared will recover quicker.
At the moment, it is essential to invest in more efficient practices, digital solutions for example, which are inevitable for almost any growing business. We understand that some companies’ financial state might be an obstacle for such investment, but if there are businesses with a vision and the desire to grab opportunities, we are prepared to help. Upon evaluating our platform’s capacities, we formed a 300 thousand euro loan reserve, which we will distribute to companies free of charge,” Audrius Griškevičius, head of the crowdfunding platform Finbee Verslui, comments.
Around 50 SMEs will likely receive loans from the 300 thousand euro aid package. A single loan can be valued at up to 5-7 thousand euros. When evaluating a company’s capacity for borrowing, its performance up to November 7 last year will be considered, which is when the second lockdown was announced.
The loan will be offered for a six month period without a repayment schedule. In other words, latest after half a year, it will be necessary to return the exact sum that was issued half a year later at the latest.
“When evaluating companies to offer loans, we will also take into account the purpose of the financing. Our priority is not only to help businesses survive this period but also to encourage investment in operations efficiency, such as e-commerce solutions, and expanding goods delivery service,” A. Griškevičius indicates.
Financing will be offered until the entire 300 thousand euro support budget is exhausted.
A. Griškevičius also invites individuals investing in loans to contribute to the small business support initiative and, alongside the crowdfunding platform, invest in businesses and their quick growth and recovery. All investors registered on the platform will be able to invest in business loans.
Companies can apply for interest-free financial aid by signing on to the Finbee Verslui platform. Specialists will evaluate opportunities for financing specific businesses and will inform them of the financing decision made.