EU approves €10.2 mln for Cyprus self-employed

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The European Commission on Monday approved a €10.2 mln Cypriot government scheme to support the self-employed and businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, state support will take the form of direct grants intended to cover part of the beneficiaries operating costs.

More specifically the Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State.

The Commission found the Cypriot scheme to be in line with conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.

In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €225,000 per company active in the primary production of agricultural products, €270,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, and €1,800,000 per company active in all other sectors; and (ii) the aid will be granted before 30 June 2021.

The scheme consists of two measures:

The first measure applies to self-employed and enterprises whose operations have been fully suspended since 16 March 2020 because of the restrictions imposed by the government to limit the virus.

The amount of the grants will be calculated based on staff headcount, up to a maximum of €15,000.

A second measure applies to self-employed and enterprises either whose operations have been suspended since November 2020 because of the restrictive measures, or whose monthly turnover decreased by 80% or more in one given month in 2020, compared to the same month in 2019.

The amount of this one-off grant is based on staff headcount with aid ranging from €500 for beneficiaries with one staff member to €3,000 for beneficiaries with 50 employees or more.

The scheme seeks to address the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and to help them continue their activity during and after the outbreak.