Many small and medium-sized companies were forced to suspend or severely restrict their business activities during the coronavirus pandemic. The German government is providing these companies with direct grants to cover their fixed operating costs. The government has set aside approximately €25bn for this scheme as part of its comprehensive stimulus package.
The purpose is to ensure the economic survival of the businesses, self-employed individuals and freelance workers affected. Companies that experienced significant pandemic-related revenue shortfalls between June and August 2020 will receive grants to cover a portion of their fixed operating costs.
Our temporary aid scheme will enable companies that were hit especially hard by the crisis to make a quick comeback. They will not have to pay the money back. We are now also providing assistance to non-profit organisations, which is something that is especially important to me.Finance Minister Olaf Scholz
Who is eligible?
Businesses and organisations across all sectors can apply for temporary aid, provided they are not eligible for support from the Economic Stabilisation Fund. To receive assistance, their revenue needs to have dropped by at least 60% cumulatively in April and May 2020 compared with the same period of 2019. Self-employed individuals and freelance workers who meet the relevant requirements can also apply, as can non-profit organisations and institutions.
How are applications submitted?
Applications for temporary aid need to be made through a tax advisor or accountant, who checks the revenue drops and the fixed operating costs claimed and then submits the application via a joint application platform.
What is the deadline?
The Germany-wide application platform, www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-unternehmen.de, was launched on 8 July. Tax advisors and accountants can register on the platform and submit applications online starting on 10 July. Grants can be disbursed as early as July. The application deadline is 31 August 2020.
How much temporary aid do recipients get?
The amount of the temporary aid depends on the recipient’s fixed operating costs and the extent of the revenue losses suffered.
in the month for which the aid is granted, compared with the same month last year
|Amount of the temporary aid|
|Between 40% and 50%||40 % of fixed costs|
|Between 50% and 70%||50 % of fixed costs|
|More than 70%||80 % of fixed costs|
Eligible fixed costs include rents and leases, financing costs, other fixed costs, costs for apprentices, and real property tax. Personnel costs for staff that cannot be placed under the short-time working scheme can be claimed at a flat rate of 10% of fixed costs.
To account for the specific circumstances of the travel industry, travel agents can also include commission losses from travel cancelled as a result of the pandemic. Managers’ salaries are not covered.
The maximum amount of the temporary aid is €50,000 per month for a period of up to three months. Businesses with up to five employees can receive up to €3,000 per month for up to three months, while businesses with up to ten employees can receive up to €5,000 per month for up to three months. In justified exceptional cases, the maximum amounts for small businesses can be exceeded.
Who pays out the temporary aid?
The temporary aid is implemented and paid out by each Land (state). An overview of the authorising bodies in each of the 16 Länder (states) can be found here (in German only).