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RDF Supervisory Board approves support measure conditions for rural enterprises struggling due to the coronavirus

17. April 2020 - 12:09
Aerial view of the Ministry of Rural Affairs
Photo: Simo Sepp / Ministry of Rural Affairs

The Supervisory Board of the Rural Development Foundation of Estonia (RDF) approved the conditions for financial measures aimed towards rural enterprises currently struggling as a result of the coronavirus. These measures will help to alleviate the economic difficulties of bioeconomy businesses and rural enterprises that were induced by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Chairman of the Management Board, Mr Raul Rosenberg, added that the Supervisory Board approved four measures, which the RDF can combine based on the needs of the entrepreneurs. In addition to changing the conditions for previously existing RDF measures, new measures were introduced. They include loan guarantees for loans issued by banks, working capital and investment loans for rural enterprises and the sale and leaseback of arable land. The RDF is also working on developing additional measures.
The aim of these measures is to enable entrepreneurs to have access to additional finances to alleviate the unexpected liquidity issues caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, ensure the functioning and development of entrepreneurship and the competitiveness of rural areas.
These measures will be implemented and are available after the Estonian Parliament has approved the supplementary budget.

“The Government has decided to channel 200 million euros to agriculture, food, fisheries, forestry and other rural enterprise sectors through the Rural Development Foundation. The situation differs from sector to sector but we can presume that none of them will be unaffected by the crisis. That is why it is important that we be prepared to implement crisis measures for entrepreneurs, be able to open these measures as soon as possible and make financial funds easily accessible through the RDF,” the Minister of Rural Affairs, Arvo Aller, said.

The Chairman of the Management Board, Raul Rosenberg, specified that the new guarantee and loan measures are aimed towards entrepreneurs, who have faced difficulties after 31.12.2019 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. These loan guarantees and loans are no just meant for small and medium-sized enterprises, but also for large businesses, which makes it possible for the RDF to offer support to major food industries as well. The sale and leaseback measure for arable land gives farmers an opportunity to alleviate a lack of working capital by selling their land to the RDF, leasing it back from the Foundation and eventually buying it back after a certain amount of time. Up-to-date information will be available on the website of the RDF.

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