Euskadi is the second most benefited community of the state rescue fund for SMEs

Exterior of the Gran Hotel Durango, of the Silken chain.

15 companies, including Batz and Silken Hotels, have received financing amounting to 129 million euros

Ana Barandiaran

The Basque Country is, behind Catalonia, the second community that has benefited the most from the state fund aimed at rescuing solvent medium-sized companies affected by the pandemic. Specifically, 15 Basque firms have obtained resources in this way, to which financing has been granted for an amount of 129 million euros, the majority in participating loans. The figure represents 16.6% of the national total and has made it possible to reinforce groups such as Batz (Mondragón Group), Balenciaga shipyards, Silken Hotels or Egile.

Only Catalonia has achieved more support from this fund managed by Cofides and which was created in the image and likeness of the one deployed by SEPI for large companies. The Catalan community has achieved support for 22 firms, with an amount of 170 million euros in financing. Madrid occupies the third position, with 12 companies and 111 million. In total, this tool has welcomed the requests of 89 groups, to which it has contributed 779 million in ordinary and participative loans.

As in the case of SEPI, the fund, baptized as Fonrec, had to be exhausted before June 30, as established by Brussels. Hence, Cofides accelerated the procedures in the final stretch and that last week it approved 22 new applications at once, among which were seven Basque ones, although only the data of four emerged (the rest requested confidentiality). Among them were the Batz automotive group and Balenciaga shipyards, both with 12 million euros, as well as the company RTS and Electronica del Urumea.

In past rounds, Silken Hotels, Grupo Satuerca, Smelting-Performers, Onddi Projects, Egile, Atik, BOJ Olañeta and San José López have benefited. The largest amount has fallen to the hotel chain, with 22.5 million euros.

“The Fonrec has been a key instrument in supporting the solvency of mid-cap companies, a fundamental business segment for maintaining employment and the productive fabric,” said the president of Cofides, José Luis Curbelo.