POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Crisis aid: €40.5m issued for SMEs & self-employed



A man looks at a closed sign in a shop window. Shutterstock

A man looks at a closed sign in a shop window. Shutterstock

The small and mid-sized business ministry approved around 6,000 applications for the non-refundable €5,000 aid aimed at small businesses forced to close because of the pandemic, for which it issued €30m.

A further 1,050 applications were approved for the €5,000 grant for micro businesses whose turnover was impacted because of the pandemic, totalling €5.25m.

And 90 applications were approved for the emergency €12,500 allowance for firms employing 10-20 people, for which a total €1.125m has been issued.

Some 1,670 applications were approved for the non-refundable €2,500 grant for the self-employed (equivalent to €4.175m) and 897 applications are currently being processed for the newest grants announced for the self-employed, issuing €3,000-€4,000 per applicant.

In addition to grants, the government has created a repayable advance offering up to €500,000 to ease temporary financial difficulties created by the pandemic. The state has approved 520 applications for this advance, issuing the equivalent of €31.5m.

In total, around €9bn of grants and repayable aid has been mobilised in Luxembourg to ease the economic impact of the closure of shops and businesses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday economy minister Franz Fayot (LSAP) met with his European counterparts during a virtual meeting of the competitiveness council to discuss Ursula von der Leyen’s recovery plan. The European Commission anticipates a record contraction of 7.5% in 2020 for the European economy. The plan is based on a recovery fund that will be accessible to the countries and sectors most impacted by the crisis. The European budget proposal will be revised to place greater emphasis on investment in digitisation and sustainable growth. Fayot said that “Given the seriousness of the situation, Europe needs a real 'Marshall Plan' with a substantial strike force.” He also called for greater autonomy in strategic sectors such as medical devices and pharmaceuticals.