State aid: Commission approves €100 million Slovak scheme to support uncovered fixed costs of companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €100 million Slovak scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under  the State aid Temporary FrameworkUnder the scheme, the support will take the form of direct grants. The public support will be open to companies active in all sectors (except for the primary agriculture, fishery and aquaculture, and financial sectors) that experienced a turnover decline of 30% between March 2020 and June 2021 (compared to the same period in 2019) due to the restrictive measures that the Slovak authorities had to introduce to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The aid will cover up to 70% (90% in case of micro and small companies) of the beneficiaries’ fixed costs that are not covered by their revenues. The scheme aims at addressing the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries, thus helping them continue their activities during and after the coronavirus outbreak. It is estimated that more than 1,000 companies will benefit from the scheme. The Commission found that the Slovak scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid will not exceed €800,000 per beneficiary and (ii) the aid will be granted no later than 30 June 2021. The Commission concluded that the scheme 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.59996 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.