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

1-Purpose of the sare tourisme fund

The SARE Tourism Guarantee mechanism (Soutien et Appui à la Résilience des Entreprises) was announced by the Government in April 2020 at the onset of COVID-19, as an early economic recovery effort through operating loans extended by banks to companies active in the sectors of tourism and crafts 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 by the Fund individual companies operating in the tourism and crafts sectors not subject to the standard corporate tax rate of 35%, and having been impacted by the corona virus Covid -19 pandemic, other than those generating income in the industrial and commercial profits category 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. Are also eligible for assistance by the Mechanism hotel management companies  that 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 “5″ 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 Guarantee Mechanism 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 31 Mars 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 (1,000,000) 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)+2 %.
  • Companies managing hotel units are allowed to cumulate as many loans as hotel units provided they meet the criteria of decline in turnover.
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