State aid: Commission approves €25 million Dutch subsidised loans scheme to support small and micro companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €25 million Dutch scheme providing subsidised interest rates for loans to small and micro companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The scheme will be managed by Qredits, a non-profit microcredit provider.The measure aims at ensuring access to liquidity for small and micro companies active in all sectors that are affected by the outbreak, thus helping them to preserve the continuity of economic activity. The Commission found that the Dutch measure sets out conditions that are in line with the Temporary Framework. In particular: i) only new loans are eligible; ii) the aid amount is limited to €25 000 per company; iii) companies that were in difficulty before 31 December 2019 are not eligible; and iv) there are safeguards in place to ensure that the aid is passed on to the final beneficiaries. 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 in line 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.57850 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.