State aid: Commission approves €19 million Latvian scheme in support of the tourism and events organisation sectors affected by the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €19 million Latvian scheme to support tourism and events operators, which had to limit, suspend or cease their activities due to the emergency measures adopted in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of direct grants and will amount to 30% of the mandatory state social security contributions paid by the beneficiary in 2019. Companies that have faced an income loss of at least 30% over one month during the period from April to June 2020, compared to the same month in 2019, will be eligible for aid under this scheme. In addition, the grants should be used for the remuneration of employees’ work. The aim of the measure is to facilitate access to finance and to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that the affected companies are facing. The Commission found that the Latvian measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €800,000 per company and (ii) aid under the measure will be granted no later than 31 December 2020. 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.58072 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.