State aid: Commission approves €30 million Lithuanian scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €30 million Lithuanian scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the support will take the form of loans of up to €100,000 with subsidised interest rates provided by Investicijų ir verslo garantijos (Invega), a Lithuanian promotional institution. The scheme will be open to companies active in all sectors of the economy (with the exception of the agricultural, fishery, aquaculture and financial sectors) that have experienced a decline in their turnover of more than 30% between 1 March and 31 October 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, due to the coronavirus outbreak and of the restrictive measures that the Lithuanian authorities had to implement to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The scheme aims at enhancing access to financing for the beneficiaries, thus helping them continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The Commission found that the Lithuanian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the maturity of the loans is limited to six years, (ii) the amount of the loans corresponds to the level foreseen in the Temporary Framework, (iii) the loans relate to working capital needs, and (iv) and the public support will be granted no later than 30 June 2021. 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 of 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.60379 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.