VILNIUS - One in every six Lithuanian companies, or 11,000 in total, received a total of 2.5 billion litas (724 million euros) from the economic stimulus plan via assistance measures applied by the government in 2009-2010, reports news agency ELTA. Economy Minister Dainius Kreivys said that businesses were allocated 483 million litas in the form of liquidity loans alone. “It was often a question of to be or not to be, the issue of survival, for the companies which received the money,” the economy minister said.
Small businesses were granted small loans amounting to some 280 million litas. Businesses were provided with loan guarantees for 320 million litas. Thus, businesses received a total of 1 billion litas in loans and guarantees.
The remaining amount, 1.5 billion litas, reached businesses via other aid measures, primarily the ones that contributed to export growth in 2010.
Lithuanian companies also benefited from the public housing renovation program, which was allocated 900 million litas. The program, as recognized by the Lithuanian Builders Association, helped a number of construction companies to survive.
Banks did not use some 425 million litas that were allocated for corporate lending via the European Investment Fund. The funds will reach businesses through other measures, which will be decided by the steering committee of the JEREMIE holding fund in mid-January.
“The banks which are not trying to effectively distribute the loans to businesses will not be financial intermediaries between the business and the state anymore. In mid-January, a decision will be made on the most effective injection of the money into the business community. Millions of litas will be taken away from the banks which impede lending to businesses,” Economy Minister Kreivys said.