The European Commission has approved Cyprus’ €10.2 million Cypriot scheme to support self-employed and businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak, it was announced on Monday.
The scheme, which includes direct grants to businesses to cover operating costs, was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework.
The commission said the measure is necessary, appropriate, and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state.
The commission found that the Cypriot scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework: the assistance will not exceed €225,000 per company active in the primary production of agricultural products, €270,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, and €1.8m per company active in all other sectors; and, the aid will be granted before June 30, 2021.
The scheme consists of two measures: the first applies to self-employed and enterprises whose operations have been fully suspended since March 16, 2020 because of the restrictive measures imposed by the government to stop the spread of the virus. The amount of the grants will be calculated based on staff numbers, up to a maximum of €15,000.
The second measure applies to self-employed and enterprises whose operations have either been suspended since November 2020 because of the restrictive measures, or their monthly turnover has dropped by 80 per cent or more in one given month in 2020, compared with the same month the previous year. The amount of this one-off grant is based on staff headcount, with aid ranging from €500 for beneficiaries with one staff member to €3,000 for beneficiaries with 50 employees or more.
The aim of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and to help them continue their activity during and after the outbreak.