Negotiations at a working desk in an office

© Fotolia.com/Robert Kneschke

The Federal Government today adopted the key elements of the “bridging assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises which had to partly or completely cease their operations due to the coronavirus crisis“.

Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier said: “The bridging assistance aims to help particularly hard-hit enterprises, especially SMEs, and thus to get the SME engine running again. The programme is deliberately open to all sectors and the target group comprises businesses which are still suffering from closures or are not able to make full use of their capacities due to the distancing and hygiene rules. The funding under the new programme is much higher than under the immediate assistance programme. Depending on the drop in turnover, up to €150,000 of fixed operating costs can be reimbursed between June and August. But we will have a much closer look at figures and only reimburse costs if a tax adviser or accountant confirms the decline in turnover and the fixed operating costs.”

By adopting the key elements of the bridging assistance, the Federal Cabinet is implementing today a decision of 3 June by the Coalition Committee. The bridging assistance is a cross-sector assistance programme with a three-month duration (June to August 2020). Businesses can receive non-repayable grants towards their fixed operating costs. Eligible enterprises must be able to provide evidence of a drop in turnover of at least 60% in April and May 2020 compared with April and May 2019. Depending on the decline in turnover, between 40% and 80% of the fixed costs are reimbursed. Funding totalling €25 billion is available for the programme. The Länder will be responsible for granting the assistance.

The key elements can be found here (PDF, 300 KB) (in German).