The European Investment Bank (EIB) will partner with Spain’s Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) to release €1bn in funding for small businesses in Spain.
In the ninth agreement of its kind between the EIB and the ICO, each body will provide €500m in loans to support Spanish small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) through investment finance and liquidity stimulation. Data collated by the European Commission shows that small businesses account for more than 72% of creation of new jobs in Spain; and the new agreement is expected to safeguard up to 100,000 jobs by delivering additional support for companies which may have difficulty accessing finance through traditional sources due to their size or business type.
EIB Vice President Emma Navarro said: “Spanish SMEs are key drivers of economic growth and employment. Ensuring that they have the necessary financial resources at all stages of their development is one of the EIB Group’s top priorities. We are very pleased with this new agreement with ICO, which will allow us to join forces to bring the advantages of EU bank financing to those Spanish firms that find it most difficult to carry out their investments, thereby boosting business competitiveness, wealth generation and job creation.”
José Carlos García de Quevedo, Chairman of ICO, said: “This operation represents a further demonstration of the common objective of supporting the Spanish business fabric that unites our two institutions and will strengthen ICO’s role as the go-to institution for financing the projects of sole traders and small businesses to promote growth. It is worth pointing out that, up to November 2019, 98% of all loans granted under the Líneas ICO banner went to SMEs, 64% of which were microfirms with fewer than ten employees.”
In total, finance initiatives operated jointly by the EIB and ICO aimed supporting at small businesses have contributed to safeguarding around a million jobs in Spain.