The European Commission has approved two Cypriot schemes providing direct grants and subsidised interest rates to companies and self-employed workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The schemes were approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020 and 8 May 2020. The first scheme, with a budget of €100 million, will be open to micro and small enterprises with up to 50 employees (including self-employed workers) and will provide them with one-off grants of up to €6,000 per company. The measure is expected to support more than 50,000 enterprises. The second scheme, with a budget of €180 million, will be open to all companies and self-employed workers. It will provide subsidised favourable interest rates on new loans signed between 1 March 2020 and 31 December 2020, for loans with a maximum duration of four years. The aim of both schemes is to address the liquidity needs of the eligible undertakings, including the self-employed, to help them continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The Commission found that the schemes notified by Cyprus are in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid envisaged in both schemes does 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 measures are 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. 57654 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.
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