Bridge over a ravine

© Adobe Stock/Feodora

Own-account workers who do not claim compensation for fixed costs under Bridging Assistance III but who are nonetheless heavily affected by the coronavirus crisis are eligible to receive New Start Assistance in the form of a one-off payment of up to €7,500. Applications can be submitted from today via ueberbrueckungshilfe-unternehmen.de.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said: “The New Start Assistance allows us to enhance our coronavirus support package. Own-account workers are often particularly badly affected by the existing restrictions, but the extent to which they are eligible for bridging assistance is limited due to low operational fixed costs. They can now access New Start Assistance. No conditions are imposed on the use of the New Start Assistance. It is not credited towards basic security benefits.”

Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz said: “The pandemic presents us all with huge challenges. The situation is particularly difficult for a lot of own-account workers. For this reason, I think it is very important that we have created a targeted form of support for own-account workers by launching New Start Assistance. Applications can be submitted from today so that the own-account workers receive the money as soon as possible. This is what we have to do right now: to provide assistance quickly and effectively so that it reaches those who need it.”

Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters said: “New Start Assistance is the key assistance measure for artists and creative professionals within the framework of Bridging Assistance III. I would like to thank my cabinet colleagues for making sure that the complex realities of the cultural sector are now explicitly reflected in the funding terms and that there is a remedy for the most severe financial hardship. The support is targeted not only at own-account workers, but also at workers who make their living on short-term contracts in the performing arts sector – who now, for the first time, have direct access to the Federation’s assistance schemes. Together with the New Start Culture Programme, which is funded by the cultural budget, this allows us to safeguard Germany’s cultural infrastructure and diversity and to ensure its valuable contribution to community life is not lost.”

Level of the New Start Assistance: New Start Assistance is granted in the form of a one-off payment equalling 50% of a six-month reference turnover, but capped at €7,500. New Start Assistance is granted in full if the own-account worker’s turnover during the funding period from January 2021 to June 2021 falls by more than 60% against the reference turnover. As a general rule, the level of reference turnover equals six times the average monthly turnover in 2019.

Disbursement modalities: New Start Assistance is paid out in advance. When applying for the assistance, beneficiaries undertake to provide a final statement of account by way of self-assessment following the end of the funding period. Should the turnover recorded during the six-month funding period exceed 40% of the six-month reference turnover, the advance payments have to be partially repaid. If it reaches 90% or more, the New Start Assistance has to be repaid in full. Random audits will be conducted with a view to combating subsidy fraud.

From today, applications for New Start Assistance can be submitted by own-account workers carrying out a self-employed activity as natural persons. Applications by own-account workers organised as partnerships or corporations are to follow soon.

Like the other benefits under Bridging Assistance, New Start Assistance is provided in the form of a taxable grant. It is not credited towards basic security benefits.

The FAQs (in German) contain further details on the New Start Assistance, e.g. regarding the creditability of sales and revenues.