The European Commission has approved a €40 million Portuguese scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the autonomous region of Madeira. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020 and on 8 May 2020. The support will take the form of direct grants and State guarantees on loans and will be open to all companies that are active in the autonomous region of Madeira. The measure will be implemented by the Sociedade Portuguesa de Garantia Mútua and the public Instituto de Desenvolvimento Empresarial, acting on behalf of the State. The scheme aims at providing liquidity to companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak, thus enabling them to continue their activities, start investments and maintain employment. The Commission found that the Portuguese measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the direct grants will not exceed €100,000 per company active in the primary agricultural sector, €120,000 per company active in the fishery or aquaculture sectors, and €800,000 per company active in all other sectors. Furthermore, the maturity of the State guarantees on loans will be limited to a maximum of 5 years. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, also in view of the relevance of the Madeiran economy for Portugal and, therefore, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU. 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.57494 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.
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