Romania was not in total lockdown, but in partial lockdown, Economy minister Virgil Popescu said in an interview with AGERPRES.
“So, like I said, Romania was not in a total lockdown, but in partial lockdown, especially on those industries that were linked to European markets, to European countries. What was up to us to do in the country I think the Government has done, they handled it very well, life has moved forward in this pandemic and I am convinced that it will continue to be so,” the minister said.
There are areas, he added, that grew during the pandemic.
“Yes, the food industry has seen leaps, retailers have seen leaps, public investments have increased a lot during the pandemic period, they have done really well, we are talking about roads, water and sewage networks,” he said.
Grant projects for SMEs hit by the pandemic
The three state aid schemes from the overall envelope of one billion euros from the EU will be distributed to micro-enterprises without employees, medical offices, PFAs (Authorized Individuals) of physicians caught in the fight against the pandemic, NGOs with economic activity affected by the pandemic, but also in the form of working capital and finally for investments, the Minister of Economy, Virgil Popescu, also said in the interview for AGERPRES.
“Basically, the first aid scheme will be to micro-enterprises that do not have employees, have a partner or two, but do not have employees, to medical offices or PFAs of physicians who have been caught in the fight against this pandemic, the affected NGOs that have economic activity, all of them will benefit from a micro-grant of 2,000 euros. They obviously need to fulfill certain conditions: to have had activity in the previous year and to have been able to prove that they had their activity was hit by the pandemic.
The second state aid scheme is the working capital grant, here we have a total of 350 million euros. At the first scheme we have 100 million euros. Here we have 350 million euros, working capital grants. Here, since you asked me about the industries that were hit, it is clearly aimed at the hotel industry, HoReCa, event organizers, haulers, publishing houses, bookstores. Practically, the hardest hit industries during the pandemic, which are still very hard hit, with limited activity, will be able to receive up to 15% of turnover in 2019, obviously having to meet certain criteria: they must prove that they had a diminished activity, with those certificates for emergency situations.
Investment grants, between 50,000 and 200,000 euros are the latest scheme of this one billion euros in aid. Practically here we are financing investment projects in a much wider range, in much more varied industries, essentially any company that wants to develop its business or reorient its business can draw up a business plan and thereon it can get help up to 200,000 euros,” Popescu added.