Blümel: Significant additional assistance measures available from today Higher State aid limit, turnover loss bonus and assistance for indirectly affected businesses available from today

The Ministry of Finance has introduced three key additional assistance measures for the domestic economy. With immediate effect, businesses will benefit from a higher State aid limit, and turnover loss bonus and assistance payments will be available for businesses affected indirectly.

Higher State aid limit applies with immediate effect

Pressure from Finance Minister Blümel and the many months of negotiations at EU level have succeeded, leading to an increase in the upper limit on aid payments. At national level, Austria has now swiftly made the relevant adjustments so that domestic businesses can take advantage of the full State aid available.

The corresponding new rules have already been notified to the EU Commission and will apply with immediate effect. As a result, the previous upper limit on the fixed cost subsidy II 800,000 is being raised to EUR 1.8 million per business. For loss compensation, the upper limit of EUR 3 million will be raised to EUR 10 million. This is more than three times the previous amount, and the ceiling is thus being fully utilised.

According to Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, "An increasing number of medium-sized businesses are already coming up against the existing ceiling and, under the old rules, they would at this stage already have no further access to the State aid needed for their survival. Through the assistance given to date, 670 businesses have already reached the limit applying to direct subsidies under Article 3.1, which is EUR 800,000. These companies employ 300,000 people in Austria. The current expansion means that we can continue to help these firms, secure liquidity and save valuable jobs."

"Because of this, since April, we have repeatedly argued vociferously, and at times amid criticism from the opposition and from Brussels, in favour of an expansion or a temporary suspension of the existing aid rules. Our concern was and continues to be not one of gaining competitive advantage over other countries, but the survival of our businesses. The corresponding new rules have already been notified to the EU Commission and will apply with immediate effect," commented Blümel on the success of the negotiations.

Applications for turnover loss bonus open today

With effect from this afternoon, applications can also be made for the turnover loss bonus. This may be claimed for the period 2020 to June 2021 and will thus also benefit those businesses that have not been affected directly or indirectly by the COVID measures, but which nonetheless have suffered a substantial loss of turnover.

Depending on the compensation rate, turnover loss bonus will pay up to 30% of turnover, with half consisting of the turnover loss bonus, and the other half an advance payment on the fixed cost subsidy II 800,000. The maximum amount totals EUR 60,000 (EUR 30,000 turnover loss bonus and EUR 30,000 advance per month).

Turnover loss bonus can be requested in just a few clicks, entering the applicant's name and account number. Applicants will receive transfer of funds to their account in around ten days. In total, a sum of EUR 1 billion is earmarked for this assistance measure.

Assistance for indirectly affected businesses

As with turnover compensation for those directly affected, the assistance for indirectly affected businesses is intended to compensate turnover for the months of November and December 2020.

In order to apply, 50% or more of turnover must be derived from one or several businesses closed due to lockdown. In addition, during the consideration period, there must have been a decline in turnover of at least 40% compared with the same period in the previous year (November/December 2019).

For calculation of the assistance amount, in principle the same compensation rates apply as with turnover compensation for directly affected businesses. Applications can be made with effect from today until 30 June 2021, which gives businesses sufficient time to apply. Costs are likely to total around EUR 800 million.

According to Finance Minister Blümel, "We are helping not only those businesses that are closed, but also all businesses now suffering huge slumps in turnover due to the length of the crisis. Applications take only a few clicks, and can be made from this afternoon via FinanzOnline."