The European Commission has approved a €108 million Maltese scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of direct grants and will be open to companies of all sizes active in all sectors, except the financial sector. Under the scheme, companies will be granted up to €7,500 per company to cover rental costs, and up to €7,500 per company to cover electricity bills. The measure is expected to benefit 20,000 companies. The aim of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of companies affected by the current crisis and to help them to continue their activities, start investments and maintain employment during and after the outbreak. The Commission found that the Maltese scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid will not exceed €100,000 per company active in the primary production of agricultural products, €120,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector and €800,000 per company active in all other sectors. 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 measures 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.58006 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.
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