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German Government Announces New Series Of COVID-19 Support Measures

March 25, 2020

The German government has announced a series of measures to support businesses during and after the COVID-19 crisis. These measures include:

  • Deferral of social security payments: if a company is facing severe financial difficulties as a result of the outbreak, it can request a deferral of social security contribution payments. The company is required to apply to the relevant health insurance fund with supporting evidence that eligibility conditions are met. More practical information can be accessed here
  • Tax relief measures: German Federal States have been instructed to take the tax measures (more practical information can be on the websites of each Federal State) that:
    • allow deferral of tax payments through tax offices
    • abolish enforcement measures or fines for non-payment of taxes for companies affected economically by the outbreak until the end of 2020
    • reduce eligibility requirements for adjusting pre-payments
    • waive interests or interest-type instruments that apply as a result of the crisis (fines, interests on deferred payments, etc.)
  • ERP Start-Up Loan: for maximum 10 years with two repayment-free years for companies established within the past five years. Applications must be made through the KfW financing partners, more information can be accessed here.
  • KfW Entrepreneur Loan: for up to two years for SMEs or up to five years with one repayment-free year for companies established for five years or more. Applications must be made through the KfW financing partners, more information can be accessed here.
  • KfW Loan for Growth: for investments and working capital to be used for innovation and digitalization for companies established for five years or more. More practical information can be accessed here
  • KfW Special Program: In addition to existing KfW support instruments, KfW will create a special program for SMEs. For this scheme, the risk taken by the State may cover up to 80% of a specific loan but not more than 50% of total debt of a company. The measures will allow the KfW to provide liquidity in the form of subsidized loans to companies affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, in close cooperation with commercial banks. Companies are asked to contact their banks and prove they were not experiencing financial issues before 31 December 2019.  Read more on how to access financing from the KfW here.
  • Support for SMEs through Guarantee Banks for SMEs: the applicant must contact the local bank and submit an online financing application for free via the financing portal. More information can be accessed here.
  • Emergency financial aid of up to €50 billion for micro-enterprises from all economic sectors as well as for self-employed persons with up to 10 employees
    • Up to €9,000 one-off payment for 3 months for up to 5 employees (full-time equivalents)
    • Up to €15,000 one-off payment for 3 months for up to 10 employees (full-time equivalents)

A number of support measures are also available at State/local level:

  • Berlin: The Investitionbank Berlin (IBB) offers guarantees or liquidity support for sectors previously ineligible and severely affected by the outbreak, including retail. More information can be accessed here.
  • Bavaria: The Bavarian State Ministries are providing emergency aid based on the number of employees a company employs and emergency tax relief, to companies requiring liquidity. 
  • Schleswig-Holstein: The Investitionbank Schleswig-Holstein is providing funding for SMEs which require liquidity as a result of a decrease in sales. The SMEs must have well established business models, sustainable debt service capacity and no negative financial records. Applicants must send an informal application to the financing parties here, together with supporting documents (including financial records and documentation on the company's business model).
  • Hamburg: A number of funding programs are provided by the Hamburger Investitions- und Förderbank (IFB). Read more.

The eBay Government Relations team will continue to monitor these COVID-19 response measures in Germany and share them via eBay Main Street.