MOSCOW, February 25 – RIA Novosti. About 98% of Russian entrepreneurs who took out soft loans at 2% have retained their jobs and can count on debt cancellation, Deputy Economic Development Minister Tatyana Ilyushnikova said.
The Russian authorities launched a special loan program at 2% on June 1 to support employment in companies from industries affected by the coronavirus. The loan matures on April 1, 2021. If, during the entire term of the credit program, the enterprise maintains employment at the level of 90% or more of its current staff number, upon the expiration of the loan term, the loan itself and the interest on it will be completely written off. These expenses will be covered by the state. If employment remains at a level of at least 80% of the staff, half of the loan and interest on it are written off.
According to the results of a survey of the office of the business ombudsman of the Russian Federation Boris Titov (available from RIA Novosti), of those entrepreneurs who took advantage of support measures in the form of direct subsidies (federal or regional), a loan at 2% or a regional loan, 59.7% were able to maintain their number staff in 2020. Another 9.6% of respondents misunderstood the conditions for receiving support, and 30.7% of entrepreneurs did not recover their business turnover, in this regard, they failed to fulfill their obligations to retain the number of employees. The poll was conducted on February 9; 5.3 thousand companies from 85 constituent entities of the Russian Federation took part in it.
“We did not receive a study of the office of business ombudsman Boris Titov, but we are ready to study it. The information published in the media is of an estimate nature. We focus on the data that banks participating in preferential lending programs for business provide us on a regular basis. 98% of borrowers under the FOT 2.0 program comply with the condition of maintaining employment, which means they can count on writing off the loan, “Ilyushnikova said, quoted by the ministry's press service.
“At the same time, we see that not all business was able to recover from the consequences of covid restrictions, which is why the government, on behalf of the president, is launching a new program of soft loans at 3% in March, which, like FOT 2.0, is aimed at maintaining jobs,” added the deputy head of the Ministry of Economic Development.
In general, according to Ilyushnikova, loans to support employment in general turned out to be the most demanded support measure during the pandemic.