Hamburg’s coronavirus business aid scheme
Companies can now apply online for emergency financial aid provided by the local government
- 07 april 2020 11:30
- Anton Stoyanov
Last week local authorities in Hamburg launched the city’s emergency financial aid scheme aimed at helping businesses stay afloat and survive the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the related worldwide lockdown measures.
Hamburg was delayed in launching its scheme due to numerous difficulties. The sheer number of applicants for local, regional and federal aid overwhelmed local authorities’ capacities and their wishes to create an entirely digital application procedure from scratch – which caused a delay in its launch.
Nonetheless, the system, hosted by the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank IFB, is now up and running and will be accepting applications for financial aid from businesses until the end of May.
Innovative measures to protect the health of citizens
Local authorities want to underline that the only applications that will be accepted are the ones submitted through the online portal of the bank. There, business owners will find all the information they might need – what kind of aid they are entitled to, what the conditions are and what documents they need to submit in order to complete the application procedure successfully.
Some of the data that the Hamburg Investment and Development Bank is interested in is related to the sales numbers of companies throughout January and February, alongside a comparison with the ones from March. These numbers will help officials determine the amount of funding companies need in order to stay afloat and will give a picture of how the crisis is affecting the city’s businesses.
Furthermore, local authorities have expanded the Hamburg Protective Shield – a fund that aims to protect small and medium-sized businesses, self-employed citizens, artists and freelancers from the economic fallout. Its budget was nearly doubled after the crisis began and it now prioritizes liquidity and loans aimed at preventing insolvency. The IFB and the city of Hamburg are also offering its own loans in addition to the ones being offered by the German federal government.
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