Due to the current situation regarding the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19), the Austrian Federal Government has announced or already decided on extensive incentives and support measures for Austrian enterprises.
On 14th March 2020, the Austrian Federal Government presented a package of measures worth EUR 4 billion to support the economy and to secure as many jobs as possible. On 18th March 2020, the Austrian Federal Government announced an increase of the existing package up to EUR 38 billion. The focus of these measures is the establishment of a crisis management fund for pursuing the following 3 key objectives :
- Ensuring the solvency of enterprises: in addition to SMEs, larger tourism enterprises as well as one-person businesses should be able to take advantage of additional bridging measures and credit guarantees to secure their sufficient liquidity. For this purpose, under two Covid-19 laws comprehensive tax incentives have been decided, such as interest free comprehensive tax deferral, special reduced tax prepayments, etc. See our Article from 23.3.2020.
- Securing jobs (e.g. with the new Corona short-time working model), in order to keep as many people employed as possible.
- Measures for financial hardships in connection with the financial hardship fund for one-person companies, freelancers under § 4 section 4 ASVG, non-profit organizations (NPO) as well as micro enterprises; the WKÖ (Austrian Chamber of Commerce) will be responsible for managing this financial hardship fund. A corresponding guideline has still to be issued by the Federal Ministry of Finance and will be published within the next few days.
The support measures announced by the Austrian Federal Government as part of the package of measures with a total volume of about EUR 38 billion will be divided into the following measures:
- 4 billion for emergency aid measures
- 9 billion for guarantees (such as for example the aws corona bridging guarantee)
- 15 billion for emergency aid for worst affected sectors (e.g. retail, tourism, gastronomy and leisure industries) , and
- 10 billion for tax deferrals (such as the deferral of business taxes, value-added taxes or social contributions). See our Article from 17.3.2020.
Emergency Call FFG
In addition, the European Commission has presented a proposal for temporary State Aid measures to support the European economy during the Corona crisis. This aid will include the possibility for Member States to provide grants or reliefs up to EUR 800,000 (gross) per enterprise in the form of direct grants, repayable loans/grants and tax measures. In addition, federal guarantees for credits as well as public and private loans with subsidized interest rates are possible.
The Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW) and the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) are providing EUR 21 million for research and development activities related to the coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2). The funding program will operate in an accelerated procedure via the FFG in the form of an emergency call. Thereby, R&D projects of Austrian enterprises focusing on the following topics related to the corona virus will be supported. The time of implementation has to be within 12 months :
- the biology of the virus and its transmission
- prevention and control of infections
- research and development of drugs and other therapeutical methods (e.g. active agents against Covid-19 and against consequences caused by the coronavirus such as pneumonia)
- the development of new diagnostic approaches
- planning and implementation of clinical studies (in particular with fast start of clinical studies phase I or II)
All relevant costs for the studies, such as personnel and material costs for testing teams will be covered. There is no limit for third-party costs.
Submission deadline: 08.04.2020 or 11.05.2020.
The funding volume is capped with EUR 3 million in the form of a non-refundable grant (normally funding quota is up to 25% for large enterprises, 35% for medium-sized enterprises, 45% for small enterprises and start-ups. Cooperation with scientific partners such as university institutes, universities of applied sciences, etc. are possible and can be rewarded within the scope of the grant). As an accompanying measure, medical universities will be supported with EUR 2 million, in order to allow them to participate in the clinical studies in collaboration with the enterprises.
BBridge financing guarantee provided by Austrian federal promotional bank (aws)
In addition, the Austrian federal promotional bank (aws) provides bridge-financing-guarantees due to the “corona virus crisis” to facilitate the financing of working capital loans for commercial and industrial SMEs as well as persons/companies that are self-employed. An expansion of the application possibilities for the aws bridging guarantee for large enterprises is currently being worked on. So far, there are no established directives in this respect, but they are expected to be published soon.
Support is provided for financing of running costs (e.g. personnel costs, material costs) as well as for the refinancing deferrals of existing credit lines for viable companies, which, due to the current “coronavirus crisis”, have no or insufficient liquidity to finance ongoing operations or whose sales and earnings got affected by order cancellations or market changes. For each SME (including affiliated companies), a guarantee rate of up to 80% for a maximum credit of EUR 2.5 million and a guarantee period of up to 5 years can be obtained. The application must be submitted by the financing bank to the Austrian federal promotional bank (aws). No handling and guarantee fees will be claimed. Moreover, no budgets, business plans or loan securities are required.
Additionally, various federal states, like Vienna, Tyrol, Burgenland or Lower Austria, have supplementary funding options, grants and guarantees available for the present crisis. If you are interested, our contact persons will be happy to assist you with consulting, preparation and time accordingly submission of funding applications.
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