After the provision of interest-free loans for women and young entrepreneurs in the total amount of HRK 20 million last year, the successful cooperation of Osijek-Baranja County and Hrvatska banka za obnovu i razvitak has been extended to providing of the most favourable lending terms and conditions in the Croatian banking market for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as business start-ups. For the purpose of realisation of the Loan Programme for Small and Medium Entrepreneurship and Loan Programme for Incentives to Start up Small Enterprises, the prefect of Osijek-Baranja County Ivan Anušić and Member of the Management Board of HBOR Hrvoje Čuvalo have signed today, 24 January 2019, the Business Cooperation Agreement.
– The Agreement signed today is worth HRK 45 million, of which loans in the total amount of HRK 30 million are intended for entrepreneurs already operating and having proved their competitiveness in the market, whereas HRK 15 million are intended for start-ups that have most difficulties in obtaining funds from commercial banks. In this way, HBOR, in cooperation with the County, enables them to open the door to entrepreneurship – said the member of the Management Board of HBOR Hrvoje Čuvalo and added: – I am glad that interest-free loans that were made possible by the County last year are already used and have enabled new employments, which was the main goal of this initiative. I believe that the favourable terms and conditions provided today will give an incentive to these categories of entrepreneurs to invest in their operations and thus boost the economy and create new jobs as a precondition for encouraging people to stay in Osijek-Baranja County.
The County prefect Ivan Anušić emphasised that Osijek-Baranja County in cooperation with HBOR is the only bank in Croatia that implements interest-free lending. – Entrepreneurship and craftsmanship are the basis for the development of our county and of the entire Croatia. Therefore, they have to be promoted in all possible ways, and interest-free loans are the ideal way to do this. The county as regional government provides full support to all entrepreneurs and investors, they are all welcome – said prefect Anušić.
In accordance with the signed Agreement, Osijek-Baranja County shall, for companies, crafts businesses and co-operatives that invest in the area of the County, subsidise interest up to 2 percentage points annually until the total loan potential has been used up. Loans are intended for investment in the purchase of land, buildings, equipment and devices as well as for investment in working capital (up to 30 percent of the loan amount). Under the Loan Programme for the Development of Small and Medium Entrepreneurship, minimum loan amount equals HRK 80 thousand and maximum loan amount equals HRK 8 million. Loans are approved at up to 3-year grace period and at up to 12-year repayment period, grace period included. Interest rate of 0 percent shall be charged to final borrowers (entrepreneurs investing in supported areas – units of local government classified to category I, II, III or IV that have proven market competitiveness by successful sales figures in domestic and/or foreign markets), and interest rate of 1 percent shall be charged to other entrepreneurs that finance new investment, who will be given a possibility of additional interest rate reduction.
Under the Loan Programme for Incentives to Start Up Small Enterprises, minimum loan amount equals HRK 80 thousand and maximum loan amount equals HRK 1.8 million. Loans are approved at 3-year grace period and at 14-year repayment period, grace period included. Interest rate of 0 percent shall be charged to final borrowers.
Besides interest on entrepreneurial loans under the Loan Programme for the Financing of Female Entrepreneurship and the Loan Programme for the Financing of Youth Entrepreneurship, Osijek-Baranja County currently subsidises interest on entrepreneurial loans for the financing of projects “Local Projects for the Development of Small Businesses” for 2009 and “Loans for Competitiveness” implemented in cooperation with competent ministry and commercial banks as well as of its independent project “Working Capital Finance” implemented in cooperation with commercial banks, for the purposes of which the amount of HRK 3.2 million has been allocated in the 2019 Budget of Osijek-Baranja County.