POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Lux expands net of aid measures to catch startups



2020 archive photo shows Luxembourg minister for tourism and small and medium size businesses Lex Delles Matic Zorman

2020 archive photo shows Luxembourg minister for tourism and small and medium size businesses Lex Delles Matic Zorman

Recently established startups stand to benefit from financial support tweaks as Luxembourg extends its package of business stimulus aid.

Speaking on Monday, small and medium size business minister Lex Delles (DP) said that businesses established in the year 2020 can benefit from aid for costs not covered.

Other key changes outlined on Monday are as follows:

Aid for uncovered costs will cover up to 25% of monthly revenues from February to June 2021, on condition that the business was legally obliged to close because of pandemic regulations. It means that up to a quarter of the companies’ turnovers will not be taken into account. Expected beneficiariers include cafés, bars and restaurants offering take-away services or home delivery.

Aid for costs not covered was initially introduced to helps businesses in the tourism, events, horesca, culture and entertainment, retail and vocational training sectors, from November 2020 to March 2021. It served to benefit businesses with a loss of turnover of 40% or more, employing at least one person and with a turnover of at least €15,000.

It was created to cover costs of consumption of goods, external charges, payroll expenses, financial charges, taxes and other operating expenses.

On Monday, Delles announced the extension of this aid to cover the period from February 2021 to June 2021. He added that all uncovered costs would be eligible for this aid for companies that were legally forced to close and those that suffered a 75% loss of turnover due to restrictions on public gatherings.

Normally, to be eligible for separate relaunch aid businesses must prove a loss of at least 25% of revenues. This threshold will be relaxed for businesses who suffered losses in January 2021 as a result of compulsory closures related to pandemic measures. This covers, among other things, non-food retail stores, and fitness centres.

The announcement comes after the government extended restaurant closures and other measures until 14 March 2021. Delles refused to be drawn on a date for reopening, in light of unknowns such as the virus variants in circulation. He said: “Forecasting is important for firms, I know, but it would be irresponsible for me to say when you can reopen because there are other factors at play. It’s not possible. In good conscience, I cannot announce a date.”