The European Commission has approved a €370 million Italian scheme to support companies active in the congress and fair industry affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The scheme will be open to fair agencies and organisers of conventions and trade shows as well as providers of logistics, transport and stand builders with more than 50% of the turnover deriving from trade shows and conventions. The scheme will be accessible to companies that suffered a reduction of turnover due to the cancellation or postponement of at least one event due to the coronavirus outbreak between 23 February and 30 September 2020. The support will take the form of direct grants calculated as a proportion of the reduction in revenues experienced by the beneficiary from 23 February 2020 to 31 July 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. The purpose of the scheme is to mitigate the economic difficulties and the sudden liquidity shortages that the beneficiaries are facing due to the restrictive measures that the Italian government had to impose to limit the spread of the virus.The Commission found that the Italian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid will not exceed €800,000 per company; and (ii) it will be granted before 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 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.59992 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.
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