The Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank (ČMZRB) in the cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade has prepared a new SMART guarantee programme aiming to facilitate access of SMEs to commercial loans for digitalisation. This new programme allows companies to get a guarantee for their digitally-oriented projects on more favourable terms than before. Receipt of applications started in April 2021.
The topic of digitalisation is being discussed on both Czech as well as European Union level for a long time. As a consequence, the “Digitalisation Pilot“ is incorporated into the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility, managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF). Such an enhancement enables supporting SMEs´ projects primarily focused on digitalisation.
“Our new guarantee programme does not support only direct digitalisation of products and services, reorganization of infrastructure or modernization of processes in the company, but it covers also costs on trainings helping to improve digital skills of employees,” explains Jiří Jirásek, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of ČMZRB.
SMART Guarantee is a part of the key national Guarantee 2015-2023 scheme whose capacity has been strengthened by the EIF within the frame of COSME counter-guarantee. “Support under the Guarantee 2015-2023 programme is partially financed from revolved funds of the Operational Program Enterprise and Innovation 2007-2013, managed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade”, says Marian Piecha, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade for EU Funds.
The support can be used by entrepreneurs operating on the territory of the Czech Republic, across various sectors of business, such as manufacturing, construction, retail and wholesale, transport and storage, accommodation and food service, information and communication activities and other services. Receipt of applications for the SMART guarantee will be open until 30 September 2022, due to the prolongation of the COSME Agreement, signed by both parties in July 2020.