The European Commission on Monday approved a 1.9 billion euro (CZK 50 billion) Czech scheme to support companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Czech program will ensure liquidity support for businesses that have seen their revenues shrink due to lockdowns and other measures to curb the pandemic, EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition issues in the EU’s executive, said.
Under the scheme, companies can get grants, guarantees or loans if they have experienced a minimum decline in turnover in the range of 25% to 50% since February 2020 compared to the time before the pandemic.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Many EU companies have seen their revenues and activities significantly decline because of the restrictive measures put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. This €1.9 billion Czech scheme will ensure liquidity support to companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. We continue working in close cooperation with Member States to find workable solutions to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, in line with EU rules.”
In the particular case of companies active in the cultural sector, the eligible ones are those that have been prevented or restricted from providing cultural services to the public because of the measures put in place by the government to limit the spread of the virus.
The EU relaxed its usual state aid restrictions to allow governments to take emergency measures to shore up businesses during the pandemic, and some €542 billion was doled out across the bloc between March and December 2020.
Over a quarter was given out by France (€155.36 billion), followed by Italy (€107.9 billion), Germany (€104.25 billion) and Spain (€90.8 billion) – the latter accounting for 7.3 per cent of Spain’s gross domestic product, the largest chunk compared to the size of its economy.