State aid: Commission approves €3.2 million Estonian scheme to support organisers of cultural events in Ida-Viru County and Harju County in context of coronavirus outbreak | EU Commission Press

The European Commission has approved a €26.3 million Estonian scheme to support companies in Ida-Viru and Harju Counties that had to suspend or limit their activities due to the restrictions imposed by the government to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the public support will take the form of direct grants. The aim of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and to help them continue their activity during and after the outbreak and it consists of two measures. The maximum amount of support per company under each measure is €180,000. The first measure applies to companies, foundations, non-profit associations and self-employed persons registered in Ida-Viru and Harju Counties and active in the accommodation and food service, information and communication, education, health, entertainment and recreation sectors, whose activities have been suspended from 28 December 2020 until 31 January 2021. The aid amount per beneficiary will correspond to 1.5 times the wage costs of the employees for November 2020. The second measure applies to companies, non-profit associations and self-employed persons active in the accommodation and food service, health care and social work sectors registered in the Ida-Viru County, whose activities have been suspended from 12 December 2020 until 3 January 2021. The aid amount per beneficiary will correspond to double the wage cost of the company for November 2020. Credit and financial institutions, as well as companies active in the agricultural, fisheries or aquaculture sectors are excluded from the scope of the notified measure. The Commission found that the Estonian scheme 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 31 December 2021. 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.61615 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.