State aid: Commission approves €51 million Latvian scheme to support companies with exporting activities affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a Latvian scheme, with an estimated budget of €51 million, to support companies engaged in the export of goods and services in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support, which will take the form of direct grants, will cover up to 25% of the mandatory social security contributions paid by the beneficiaries. The scheme will be open to companies with exporting activities active in all sectors, with some exceptions defined by Latvia such as companies active in the primary production of agricultural products, in the processing and marketing of agriculture products, in the fishery and aquaculture sector as well as in the financial sector. The measure is expected to benefit 350 companies. The purpose of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of companies affected by the current crisis and to help them to continue their activities, start investments and maintain employment during and after the outbreak. The Commission found that the Latvian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid will not exceed €800,000 per company as provided by the Temporary Framework. 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 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.58104 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.