Guarantee Fund For Strengthening Business Resilience (Fonds S.A.R.E)

1-Purpose of the sare fund

The SARE Guarantee mechanism (Soutien et Appui à la Résilience des Entreprises) was announced by the Government in March 2020 at the onset of COVID-19, as an early economic recovery effort through operating loans extended by banks to companies whose activity was affected by the repercussions of the spread of the “Covid-19” Coronavirus. The SOTUGAR was entrusted with the management of said guarantee mechanism

2-Beneficiary enterprises

Are eligible for assistance individual companies other than those generating income in the industrial and commercial profits category and subject to income tax under the flat-rate system and the companies and legal entities provided for in section 3 of the fourth sub-paragraph of paragraph I of 49 of the Personal Income Tax and Corporation Tax Code, and which meet the following eligibility conditions:

  • Not to be out of business before the end of February 2020.
  • Not to be subject to receivership proceedings.
  • Having recorded a fall in sales in March 2020 of at least 25% compared with March 2019 or at least 40% in April 2020 compared with April 2019.
  • The retention of staff.
  • Having filed all their tax returns by the end of February 2020.

These criteria shall be ascertained by the tax authorities, who prior to issuing a favourable approval for applications submitted by recipient companies through the platform dedicated to this purpose. The recipient company must not be classified “4″ as at December 31, 2019 within the meaning of the Banque Centrale de Tunisia’s circular No.24/91 of December 17, 1991

3-Loans eligible for cover by the fund

Are eligible under the Fund new loans to cover operating costs and expenses needed by the company to retain staff and to remain in business are eligible to funding. The credits cover operating debts falling due after March1, 2020, debt rescheduling is to effected over the period starting from March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, and might be extended pursuant to  of Finance law for 2021, as follows :

  • The amount of the loan per company must not exceed 25% of its the turnover for 2019, excluding V.A.T, or the equivalent of six (6) months of salaries for a company created after January 1, 2019.
  • The amount of the credit is capped at one million dinars per beneficiary company.
  • The loan repayment period may be up to seven (7) years, with a grace period of up to 2 years. The interest rate applicable to this credit may not exceed the money market rate (TMM)+1.75%.
4-Percentage of cover

The percentages of cover are set as follows:

  • 90% for companies with an annual turnover less or equal to ( ≤  ) 1million Dinars (TND) or companies created after January 1, 2019.
  • 80% for companies with an annual turnover between 1 million TND and 3 million TND.
  • 70% for companies with an annual turnover in excess of 5 million TND.
5-Cost of the guarantee

The cost of the guarantee is calculated at a flat rate of 1% of the loan amount. The beneficiary’s contribution is paid upon the disbursement of the loan.

6-Credit declaration.

The lending bank has full discretion to evaluate the credit application prior to its approval through a dematerialized declaration process. No prior agreement or formalities are required by SOTUGAR to the beneficiary company or the bank

7-Enforcement event

This event is triggered by the declaration of acceleration and the initiation of legal proceedings by the Participating Financial Institution (IFP) against the defaulting company with a view to recovering the unpaid debt.

If the company is the subject of insolvency proceedings, SOTUGAR will pay the IFP an advance on compensation of 80% of the guaranteed amount within 30 days of initiation of the proceedings, as soon as the judicial settlement or winding-up judgment has been pronounced, and the balance is to be disbursed on completion of recovery proceedings.


The facility operates according to a 20% stop-loss rule, with each PFI’s drawdown limited to 20% of the percentage of cover of the loan amount declared to the Mechanism.

9-Lapse in guarantee

The guarantee lapses in the following cases:

  • Non-compliance with reporting deadlines.
  • Failure to pay the contribution in a timely manner time.
  • Non-provision of the statement of outstanding amounts in a timely manner.
  • Failure to present debt rescheduling within established timeframes.