The BCRA has an active credit policy in place to address the effects of the crisis brought about by COVID-19. The measures adopted seek to provide financial aid to households and micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), against the backdrop of the pandemic. The BCRA has mainly fostered loans at a maximum 24% annual interest rate for MSMEs, and 0% loans for self-employed workers whether or not under a simplified tax scheme.
The “MiPyME (MSME) credit line” reached 136,970 companies for ARS 223 billion in total, with an average of ARS 1.6 million. The total amount under the “MiPyME credit line” represents a third of the total stock of business loans provided to the private sector.
The 136,970 companies, which account for 1 out of 4 MSMEs in Argentina, channeled the funds to the payment of salaries (23%), purchase of other capital goods (48%), payment of checks (22%), and hiring of healthcare services (3%). The remaining 4% falls within headings not included in the working capital lines.
These loans have been implemented gradually from its launch in April, gaining momentum ever since. The goal—to cross the ARS 223 billion line—was reached in two months.
“PyME PLUS”, AN OPERATIONAL CREDIT LINE FOR 200,000 SMEs
The BCRA further implemented a loan called “PyME Plus credit line”, which addresses the needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) without outstanding bank loans. Indeed, they may access the “PyME PLUS line” with minimum requirements upon the submission of the Argentine Guarantee Fund (Fondo de Garantías Argentino, FoGAr) guarantee. This is a credit line of ARS 22 billion for about 200,000 SMEs.
In turn, the 0% credit line sought to help those whose income has significantly been reduced as a result of the pandemic: self-employed workers whether or not under a simplified tax scheme. The number of loans granted as of June 2 was 311,000, for a total amount of ARS 38 billion. These loans were implemented by way of credit card advances.
This tool has gained momentum in the past ten business days: on average, 15,000 loans for ARS 1.7 billion were granted on a daily basis.
June 6, 2020.