“VS Fitness” is not going to stop: it plans to open 7 more sport clubs in Lithuania
Although businesses have returned to their ordinary rhythm, expansion is still considered cautiously. It was caused by post-covid situation that still makes to consider well the made financial decisions, especially related to borrowing. However, company UAB “VS Fitness” is an excellent example that proves that even pandemic cannot stop expansion plans if the objective is set and aimed firmly.
Not only the residents of major cities want to go to sport clubs
At present, UAB “VS Fitness” has 8 sport clubs in Lithuania. one of the sport clubs in Panevėžys was opened in the beginning of this year when the pandemic was not over. The company’s manager Renata Šuikienė acknowledges that challenges have become daily, but they are not afraid to dream about expansion possibilities and are determined to enlarge the network of sport clubs in other Lithuanian cities. It is expected to have 15 sport clubs in Lithuania before 2028.
“We have noticed that the number of visitors of sport clubs has grown after the pandemic. People are tired of staying at home. They want to move, to spend their leisure actively, to leave routine behind, thus, they start going to sport clubs. The programs of our sport clubs are automated, so, our clients can come at any time of the day, when it is convenient for them. The possibility to come to a sport club at any time is relevant not only for the major Lithuanian cities, but also for the region, so, we endeavour at providing such an opportunity by expanding the network of sport clubs in Lithuania,” – told the interlocutrix about the company’s plans.
Search for financing
However, resources are needed for expansion, so, first of all, the company applied to the banks for financing.
“We have talked with the banks a lot, but all we heard was the suggestion to wait until the situation gets more stable so that the necessary financing could be granted. However, we did not want to wait, especially as we had suitable premises for the sport club in Alytus, – said R. Šuikienė. – In search for financing, we watched the emerging new measures of INVEGA and when we saw that INVEGA was starting to grant direct loans, we had no doubt about applying. It is very important that the state continues granting such aid to business even after the pandemic. It was very useful for our business because only the loan granted by INVEGA allowed us continuing implementation of the set goals.”
Direct loans of INVEGA for implementation of the investment projects
According to the Project Manager Kristina Račkauskaitė-Liandzbergienė from the Department of Management of Measures, it is difficult to forecast economic situation in near future, thus, banks are very cautious to whom they grant loans. “Regardless of recently ended pandemic, the businesses need to move forward and to think about expansion. However, the pandemic and the geopolitical situation are correcting the plans and the businesses need the state support. Therefore, direct Covid-19 loan was renewed in consideration to current business needs.”
According to the representative of INVEGA, business may apply for investment loan until 31 October 2022. The small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) registered in the Register of Legal Entities (when an undertaking is a company) or businesspersons who started their activities before 31 December 2020 can apply for the loan. The funds of the investment loan may be used to finance the purchase of tangible (buildings, machines and equipment, vehicles) and intangible (patents, licences or other intellectual property) non-current assets. Moreover, the loan may be used to purchase the land if it is used for the activities. The implementation of the investment project cannot be started prior to the application.
Besides, the participation of private backer is necessary for the project’s financing, or the borrower has to use own funds, because the amount of granted loan cannot exceed 50 percent for micro-enterprise, small enterprise or businessperson, and 40 percent of the expenses of the investment project eligible to financing in case of medium-sized enterprise. The maximum total investment loans granted for the company or group of companies (if the borrower belongs to a group of companies) or to the businessperson cannot exceed 3 million euro and the loan cannot be granted for the period exceeding 96 months. The interest will depend on the loan period and will vary from 0.1 to 1.83 percent.
More detailed information about the measure “Direct Covid-19 loans” for business is available on the website of INVEGA or inquiries can be made by phone (8 5) 210 7510 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.