During the period of the program of concessional lending at 2% per annum, Russian banks have approved more than 220 thousand loans for businesses in the amount of over 406 billion rubles.

This is stated in the official response of the Ministry of Economic Development to a letter from the head of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy Andrei Kutepov.

Recall that from June 1 to November 1, 2020, companies and entrepreneurs affected by the coronavirus pandemic could apply for a loan at a preferential rate to resume their activities.

The business should use the money received to pay salaries to staff at the rate of one minimum wage (12,130 rubles) per employee.

The loans provided to companies are 85% secured by guarantees of the state corporation VEB.RF.

At the same time, the loan itself can be completely written off if employers retain 90% of jobs.

If at least 80% of the state is retained, the state will take on half of the loan and interest on it.

According to the initiative, all write-offs must go through by April 1, 2021.

“For the purpose of obtaining a loan, entrepreneurs had to contact a bank participating in the program no later than November 1, 2020.

As of November 2, 2020, 224.8 thousand loan agreements were concluded with borrowers for a total amount of 441.1 billion rubles, of which 406.07 billion rubles were actually issued for 220.5 thousand loan agreements, "TASS reports the Ministry of Economic Development ...

According to the agency's assessment, in total, the concessional lending program has made it possible to provide salaries of about 5.4 million employees.

“The program can be safely recognized as successful.

If we follow the dynamics of small business activity, then even during the second wave of the pandemic, business activity in this sector is growing.

The October data, for example, is higher than the September data by about 1.5% due to the growth of investment activity.

Thanks to the preferential program, small companies have better adapted to the crisis, "Nikita Maslennikov, head of the Finance and Economics department at the Institute of Contemporary Development, told RT.

According to experts, concessional lending was most in demand among enterprises in the service sector, leisure, tourism and hotel business.

Representatives of the aviation industry and non-food retail also actively used preferential loans.

Moreover, the initiative has become a serious help for the Russian labor market.

This point of view in a conversation with RT was expressed by Pavel Sigal, the first vice president of the all-Russian public organization for small and medium-sized businesses "Support of Russia".

“Companies transferred their staff to remote work, or temporarily stopped production, paying people wages.

This was important both for workers who provide families and pay utility bills with loans, and for the employers themselves, who managed to keep the collectives in full.

If the company disbanded employees, then after the quarantine was canceled, it could not quickly start work at the proper level and suffered losses.

In this regard, concessional loans have restrained the growth of unemployment, ”explained Sigal.

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According to Rosstat, against the background of the introduction of quarantine measures in the spring and the temporary suspension of the work of a number of companies, unemployment in Russia from March to August increased from 4.7 to 6.4%.

The value was the highest since 2012.

However, by the end of September, the figure dropped to 6.3%.

Note that in October, unemployment in percentage terms remained at around 6.3% of the labor force.

At the same time, the number of officially registered unemployed fell to 3.48 million from 3.7 million in September.

Moreover, by mid-November, the value dropped to 3.29 million. This is stated in the materials of the Ministry of Economic Development.

A gradual recovery in the employment sector should lead to an increase in the buying activity of Russians and thereby stimulate consumer demand that has sagged during the pandemic.

Tatyana Fedortsova, Chairman of the Board of FinTech KB, told about this in an interview with RT.

“Of course, the task of preserving jobs is currently one of the priorities.

If a person has a job, a constant salary, he provides demand, which, in turn, gives an impetus for the recovery of the entire economy.

The government is well aware of this, so we should certainly expect the continuation of such programs or new measures to support the income of the population and preserve jobs in the country, ”concluded Fedortsova.