New EUR 25 billion bridging aid launches

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16 July 2020
City Hall Hamburg

SMEs can now can now apply for further financial assistance after the German government’s new bridging aid, as foreseen by the EUR 103 billion economic stimulus package, launched in early July. The German cabinet adopted key points of the bridging aid in June for the sectors worst-hit by the corona pandemic and the government is now making some EUR 25 billion available as part of a second supplementary budget. The approving state authorities i.e. in Hamburg's case the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank are issuing payments from July 2020.

Companies that have had to cease or severely restrict their business in the wake of the corona pandemic are eligible for the funds. Entirely digital applications can be filed through a tax consultant, auditor or sworn auditor on the www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-unternehmen.de website. The digital application procedure was completed shortly after the Online Access Act (OZG) was implemented.

Peter Altmaier, German Minister for Economics and Energy, said: "Industries that are still idle or whose business has been significantly restricted despite the easing of restrictions need help. We are providing grants to cover all these companies fixed costs up to EUR 150,000, which do not have to be repaid." Michael Westhagemann, Hamburg's Senator for Economics and Innovation, pointed out: "The bridging aid is an urgently needed instrument and constitutes a joint effort by the states and national government to help SMEs in particular cope with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic." Andreas Dressel, Hamburg's Senator for Finance, added: "It is important that the bridging aid helps social enterprises, not-for-profit organisations and the like to weather the crisis. We want to ensure that our vibrant civil society survives the corona crisis."

The programme is based on administrative agreements between the German government and states on whose behalf Hamburg co-ordinated the measure. The application platform is being financed by a joint federal-state project to promote the OZG act thereby ensuring a standard, online application procedure. The applicant's data is secured and forwarded rapidly for processing.

Main points of agreement:

1. Eligible applicants
- Companies and organisations in all sectors
- Solo self-employed and self-employed members of the liberal professions
- Non-profit enterprises and institutions.

2. Extent of bridging aid: 
- 80% of fixed costs in the event of a drop in turnover of more than 70%,
- 50% of the fixed costs in the event of a 50 to 70% decline in sales,
- 40% of fixed costs in the event of a sales decrease between 40% and less than 50%.

3. Submission of application
-  Digital application through a tax consultant, auditor or sworn auditor.

4. Payment via the states:
- Issuance by the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank in Hamburg. 

5. Deadline for applications:
-  31 August 2020.

6. Link to other aid:
- Direct link to emergency aid programme, renewed support is possible.

More information can be found on Corona-Überbrückungshilfe/Corona Bridiging Aid.