The investment aid for companies affected by the COVID-19 crisis was introduced by the Ministry of the Economy in the context of the government’s “Neistart” programme.
The aim of this instrument is to encourage companies to carry out economic development, digitalisation or environmental protection projects despite the current crisis, by means of financial aid of up to 50% of eligible costs.
This aid scheme allows for much higher amounts of investment aid than in normal times, especially for projects involving the development of the circular economy.
Initially scheduled to expire on 30 June 2021, this investment aid measure will be extended until the end of the year. On 2 April 2021, the Government Council adopted the bill providing for this prolongation.
Three types of grants
The aid scheme is aimed at companies that have suffered a significant drop in turnover during the crisis and provides for three types of grants:
- Investment aid for development projects, covering up to 30% of project costs (depending on the size of the company), with an increase of 20% for projects related to the circular economy;
- Investment grants for process and organisational innovation projects up to 50% of project costs;
- Investment aid for energy efficiency or overcoming standards projects up to 50% of project costs.
From €800,000 to €1.8 million
While the maximum aid intensity is maintained at 50% of eligible costs, the limit of aid per company is increased to €1.8 million for applications submitted after the draft law comes into force, compared to €800,000 at present.
Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot said: “This aid scheme encourages companies to make investments to improve their competitiveness and produce in a more sustainable way, despite the investment climate currently deteriorated by the COVID-19 crisis. 207 applications for such aid have already been approved by my services, for a total amount of aid of €62 million. The extension of this aid measure until the end of the year will therefore provide continued support for business investment in these difficult times.”