(ČIA) The Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic (MPO) in cooperation with the National Development Bank (NRB) has prepared a new guarantee for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) under the Expansion Programme. It is financed from the OP PIK. Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela (for STAN) said that self-employed persons and SMEs whose energy costs amount to more than 10% of their total operating costs can apply for a guarantee for an operating commercial loan at all NRB branches. The guarantee is provided free of charge for up to 80 % of the loan amounting to CZK 1 to 10m. The duration of the guarantee will be up to two years.