State aid: Commission approves €10 million Italian scheme to support companies active in historic centres of municipalities where religious sanctuaries are present in the context of the coronavirus outbreak
The European Commission has approved a €10 million Italian scheme to support companies active in historic centres of municipalities where religious sanctuaries are present in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The purpose of the measure is to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that these companies are facing due the restrictive measures that the Italian government had to implement to limit the spread of the virus. The public support will be open to companies of all sizes active in all sectors except the financial one. In order to be eligible, companies must have recorded in June 2020 a turnover of less than two thirds of the one recorded in June 2019. Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants of minimum €1,000 for natural persons and €2,000 for legal persons, and of maximum €150,000. The Commission found that the Italian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €225,000 per company active in the primary production of agriculture products, €270,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, and €1.8 million per company active in other sectors; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2021. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.64357 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.