State aid: Commission approves €713 million Dutch guarantee scheme to support SMEs affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €713 million Dutch aid scheme to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April and 8 May 2020. The support will take the form of guarantees on loans with a nominal loan amount between €10,000 and €50,000. The State guarantee will cover 95% of the loan. The scheme aims at providing liquidity to SMEs affected by the coronavirus outbreak, thus enabling them to continue their activities, start investments and maintain employment. Companies active in all sectors are eligible for aid under this scheme, with the exception of those in the commercial real estate, financial, publicly funded health care, fishery, aquaculture and agriculture sectors. The measure is expected to support 30,000 enterprises. The Commission found that the Dutch scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, aid does not exceed €800,000 per company. 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. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.57397 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.