State aid: Commission approves €8 million Latvian aid measure to support sports centres in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €8 million Latvian measure to support companies that own, manage or rent sports centres in Latvia, in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of direct grants to sports centres that have experienced a drop in turnover of at least 60% in December 2020 and January, February and March 2021 compared to the turnover they reported for the same months in 2019 and 2020. The aid aims at covering operational costs (utility bills, rental of land, liability payments, and outsourcing costs) incurred between 1 December 2020 to 31 December 2021. The Commission found that the Latvian measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €1.8 million per company and (ii) the aid will be granted no later than 30 September 2021 (i.e. it will be granted before 31 December 2021 as foreseen 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 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.62917 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.