State aid: Commission approves €110 million “umbrella” scheme to support Gibraltar economy in coronavirus outbreak

The Commission has approved an approximately EUR 110 million (GBP 100 million) “umbrella” scheme to support enterprises of all sizes in Gibraltar. The scheme was approved under the Temporary Framework. The measure aims to provide liquidity to undertakings operating in Gibraltar affected by the coronavirus outbreak, facilitate their access to external finance, and support the development of coronavirus relevant activities. Under the scheme Gibraltar authorities can grant public support in the form of: (i) limited amounts of aid (in the form of direct grants, repayable advances and tax advantages) of up to €800,000 per company; (ii) guarantees on loans; (iii) interest rate subsidies for loans; (iv) aid for coronavirus relevant research and development (R&D); (v) investment aid for the construction or upgrading of testing and upscaling infrastructures that contribute to develop coronavirus relevant products; and (vi) investment aid for production of products necessary to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The measure is open to companies active in all sectors except the financial, agriculture and fishery and aquaculture sectors. Aid is granted under the measure either directly or, as concerns aid in form of guarantees and subsidised interest rates for loans, through credit institutions and other financial institutions as financial intermediaries. The Commission found that the scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State and to fight the health crisis, in line with Article 107(3)(b), Article 107(3)(c) TFEU and with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission has 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.57617 in the State Aid public case register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.