Erste Bank and the ERSTE Foundation supporting Austria’s social economy

Erste Bank’s Social Banking facility is now offering cash-flow assistance for customers serving the local social economy as non-profit organisations, while the ERSTE Foundation is covering all loan-interest payments for 2020. The aim is to help affected institutions overcome financial strains resulting from the coronavirus crisis. The service is part of a broader social-banking initiative by the Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation, which seeks to provide some 25 million Euros in liquid funds for non-profit organisations operating in the banking group’s markets.

This Erste Bank service is aimed at all registered non-profit associations and foundations (NPOs/NGOs) operating in the fields of health, nursing and social welfare. The liquidity measures are being implemented as quickly as possible, independently of the upcoming national support scheme, using the services of the aws promotional bank, the Austrian Economic Chambers and the ÖHT bank. Non-profit organisations are now able to apply for a bridging loan up to EUR 300,000 through their Erste Bank support service. At the same time, the ERSTE Foundation will also be supporting the borrowing social institutions by covering interest payments for the new financing measures until the end of the year.

‘Providing this service to the social economy is all the more important because it, like many other businesses, currently needs bridging loans in order to cope with their growing workload. It is precisely in these times of economic and health crises that NGOs are being required to increase and diversify their support offerings’, says Günter Benischek, Head of Social Banking at Erste Bank.

That’s why Erste Bank and the ERSTE Foundation are collectively seeking to recognise the local social economy and the many activities of its institutions in Austria, and ensure its survival.