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Article:

State financial support related to coronavirus

19 March 2020

Situation at 23 June 2020, 16:00 (to be updated)

DEUTSCHE VERSION ZUM HERUNTERLADEN Situation at 23. Juni 2020, 16:00 (to be updated)

Download pdf version Situation at 23 June 2020, 16:00 (to be updated)

Currently the following subsidy programmes exist or are under preparation to support companies and organizations in the fight against COVID-19:

 

How much can I get?

What can I use it for?

Since when can I apply?

Contact at BDO

Antivirus

Up to 80% of the compensation paid wages including deductions

Personnel costs

6 April 2020

Vladislav Veleba

COVID III Up to CZK 50 million Operational expenditure 19 May 2020

COVID Plus

Up to CZK 2 billion

Guarantee program for commercial banks for loans to large companies

5 May 2020

Czech Rise Up

Up to CZK 5 million

Supporting the development of new solutions against COVID-19

2 April 2020

Stanislav Klika
Ondřej Šnejdar

Country for the Future – Inovace do praxe (COVID)

Up to CZK 25 million

Innovation related to COVID-19

3 April 2020

Technologie COVID19

Up to CZK 20 million

Support for the production of medical devices

4 April 2020

Inovační vouchery COVID

Up to CZK 1 million

Innovation advisory, expert and support services

17 April 2020

 

1. Planned support

Plan – a promised trillion crowns

The government could provide up to one trillion crowns to support entrepreneurs and companies affected by the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said at a press conference after the government meeting. According to him, about CZK 100 billion should go to direct aid and CZK 900 billion to guarantees.

Postponement of social insurance payments

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MPSV) suggests that companies can postpone social insurance payments (24.8% of wages) for three months (May, June and July) until 20 October. On gross wages, companies would pay only insurance premiums paid for employees (6.5%). Companies can thus obtain a relatively cheap source of money. As a result of the deferral of social insurance payments, the payment of deferred insurance premiums will be increased by less than 4% p. a. The proposal has yet to be discussed by the Parliament of the Czech Republic and signed by the President.

Crisis tax package

The government discussed and approved the "Crisis Tax Package", which includes the following:

  • an amendment to the Income Tax Act, which anchors the possibility of retrospective application of a tax loss, the so-called loss carryback. If a loss arises for 2020, it should be possible to claim it and deduct it retroactively from the tax base in 2019 and 2018 (assuming, that there was a profit in 2019 or 2018). It should be possible to claim the loss carryback for the tax period up to 30 June 2020.
  • change in value added tax, where VAT on accommodation is reduced from 15 to 10 percent, as well as on admission to cultural and sports events, ski lifts, operation of saunas, spas and various wellness centres
  • a reduction of approx. 25 percent in road tax for vehicles with a maximum permissible weight of more than 3.5 tonnes,
  • an amendment to the Real Estate Acquisition Tax Act, which allows municipalities to decide on a possible tax exemption,
  • an amendment to the Act on Excise Duties, which shortens the deadline for returning so-called green diesel from 60 to 40 days.

Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MPSV) Antivirus Programme C

In cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the MPSV is preparing a support package for companies that are still operating and paying employees 100% of their wages even in these difficult conditions. employees' wages. Below are the known parameters:

  • Antivirus C will concern the waiver of social security contributions for employers (24.8%),
  • will concern small and medium-sized companies with up to 50 employees,
  • companies drawing the support from Antivirus B programme will not be allowed to use Antivirus C programme,
  • a maximum amount of up to 1.5 times the average wage,
  • the programme should be automated (the company will only announce a reduction  in the basis of assessment to the District Social Security Administration and pay reduced premiums) for months June, July and August,
  • the conditions are to maintain a 90 % employment rate (compared to March 31, 2020) and to maintain a 90 % wage volume (compared to March 2020),
  • intended only for Czech tax residents

The government aims to get some companies to take back dismissed employees.

The Act was discussed by the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and signed by the President. It is now awaiting its publication in the Collection of Laws, which is expected this week.

2. Approved support

Compensation of employees in closed operations (Antivirus Programme by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs - employment protection)

At its meetings on 19 March, 23 March and 31 March, the Government approved a number of employment protection measures aimed at protecting companies that had to shut down and other companies indirectly affected by the government restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is prepared through the Labour Office of the Czech Republic to compensate companies for funds paid to employees' wages. This measure should help employers to better manage the current situation and avoid excessive redundancies.

The employer will be able to claim reimbursement of wage compensation paid after the end of the reporting period, i.e. after the end of the calendar month for which it is applying for the allowance. For the month of March, the employer will therefore submit an application at the beginning of April. We expect detailed information on the use of the aid, including the application form, to be published on 6 April at the latest.

The MPSV's Antivirus Programme (extended until the end of August) :

  • Programme A in the event of a forced reduction of staff and quarantine of employees: Employers will be compensated 80% of their wages, incl. contributions (i.e. super-gross wage) if the employee has been quarantined (the employee receives 60% of the average reduced earnings) or the operation was closed by a government order (the employee receives 100% of the average earnings). The maximum contribution per employee will be CZK 39,000.
  • Programme B in case of related economic difficulties: Employers will be compensated 60% of their wages (i.e. super-gross wage) if there is an obstacle on the side of the employer due to related economic difficulties caused by the spread of coronavirus (depending on the type of obstacle, the employee will receive 60-100% of their average earnings). The maximum contribution per employee will be CZK 29,000.

The basic conditions for support from antivirus are as follows:

  • companies in the business sector;
  • employees must be employed and participate in sickness and pension insurance;
  • the company strictly adheres to the Labour Code;
  • the employee must not be in the notice period and must not be dismissed; and
  • the company must pay the wages and levies.

For more information, see Employer Claims for Coronavirus article (https://www.bdo.cz/en-us/publications/actual-publications/covid19-of- employers-in-related-with-coronavir).

The government also approved several other reliefs for businesses, which should improve their cash flow. These are mainly:

  • across-the-board waiver of late payment of corporate income tax and interest by 1 July 2020, i.e. the possibility of effectively filing a corporate income tax return and paying tax only at the end of June 2020;
  • the waiver of the June corporate tax advance payment; and
  • the introduction of the "loss carryback" institute for corporate income tax for 2020, which will be applicable retroactively in the tax returns for 2019 and 2018. This will only be felt by entrepreneurs at the beginning of next year.

For more information, see Coronavirus Tax Reliefs article (https://www.bdo.cz/en-us/publications/actual-publications/covid19-dane-discounts-in-the-coronavir-related-related 80% 8B)

Approved support through the ČMZRB (currently suspended due to exhaustion of the limit)

The COVID Loan Programme for interest-free loans was prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO) and the ČMZRB for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The government approved contributions up to CZK 5 billion.

It is no longer possible to apply for the COVID Loan Programme. More than 3,200 received applications will be processed within about 14 days. 

COVID III Loan Programme

Under COVID III Loan Programme, ČMZRB will provide guarantees for operating loans from commercial banks. An additional CZK 150 billion was allocated to the COVID III programme. ČMZRB is expected to provide loans totalling approximately CZK 500 billion and thus support around 150 000 self-employed and companies with up to 500 employees.

What is COVID III Loan Programme?

  • ČMZRB guarantee for operating loans from commercial banks. 
  • Up to 90% of the principal of a commercial loan for companies with up to 250 employees.
  • Up to 80% of the principal of a commercial loan for companies employing from 250 to 500 people.
  • The maximum amount of the guaranteed loan is CZK 50 million.
  • The guarantee period (and probably also the loan period) will be three years.

Who is COVID III Loan Programme for?

  • For self-employed and companies with up to 250 employees. 
  • The guaranteed commercial loan will only be used to cover operating expenses such as wages, rent, energy, supplier-customer invoices, material, inventory, etc.
  • For applicants whose economic activities are affected by measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

How to apply?

  • Applicants can already apply at their commencial banks.
  • There will be only one-round approval (the loan is not to the approval or control of ČMZRB). 

The support for larger companies through EGAP – COVID PLUS Guarantee

The Ministry of Finance (MF) together with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO), through EGAP, prepared a guarantee program for commercial banks for loans to large companies. The total amount of guarantees is considered up to CZK 150 billion.

1. What are the general parameters of the COVID PLUS Guarrantee programme?

  • for large companies with more than 250 employees;
  • the share of exports in total sales in 2019 must be at least 20 percent (production delivery for other exporters are also counted)
  • It will not be accessible to firms whose major economic activity falls within the areas of transportation, accommodation, tourism and gambling,
  • guarantees for commercial loans from CZK 5 million to CZK 2 billion (max. 25% of the firm's annual turnover),
  • operating loans for 3 years,
  • investment loans for 5 years; and
  • guarantees will be provided up to a maximum of 80% of the commercial loan.

2. How to apply?

  • The provision of guarantees with EGAP is handled by the lending bank and not by the company. The bank applies to EGAP with a request for a guarantee for a receivable via an online form.
  • Guarantee applications are accepted online.
  • Banks can apply from 5 May.

Support of the Czech Export Bank (CEB)

In cooperation with the export insurance company EGAP, CEB offers financial products and services on advantageous terms (regardless of the size of the company), which will support the export of Czech goods abroad:

  • Pre-export financing - funds to purchase materials, new machinery and equipment or to cover labour costs.
  • Financing of a foreign customer - a loan for foreign customers of domestic companies to finance the purchase of products of domestic companies.
  • Purchase of receivables, which will reduce the volume of receivables and increase the company's funds.
  • Bank guarantees.

Assistance for small companies with limited liability

The government has approved support for shareholders in small limited liability companies with up to two shareholders and family businesses with more than one shareholder if they are related (husband, partner, parents or children). The condition is the turnover for the previous year in the amount of at least CZK 180 thousand. The aid is proposed as shareholder support for the period from 12 March to 8 June. Partners will fill out a simple application and a solemn declarations (as for the "Twenty-Five").This will entitle them to CZK 500 per day, ie CZK 44,500 for a given period. The support is designed to support individuals, which means that it will not be provided to someone who is already drawing the “Twenty-Five” or Antivirus support.

Support for family businesses

Family companies can ask ČMRZB for preferential financing for their further development or a guarantee that will facilitate the sale or transfer of their businesses to new owners. Support for family companies has been prepared by ČMZRB in cooperation with the MPO.

COVID – Rent

The government prepared support for entrepreneurs paying commercial rent, to whom the Government will pay up to half of the rent. The support will cover companies that have been forced to close operations due to government measures but have had to pay commercial rent. It will cover businesses that have remained completely closed due to government measures as well as those that have sold through a dispensary window or e-shop. The state will pay 50% of the rent for the 2nd quarter, with the tenant paying 20% and is subject to a 30% reduction in the rent by the landlord. If the landlord does not agree to a 30% reduction, the state will not contribute to the rent. In order to obtain a contribution to the rent, it will be necessary to provide a proof of reduction of the rent, by the lease agreement and its amendment, where the landlord undertakes to discount 30%, and to prove the rent levels for previous months (e.g. bank statements). The maximum contribution will be CZK 10,000. It will be possible to submit applications from 26 June 2020, 9:00 am, electronically via the information system available on the website www.mpo.cz.

Postponement of social insurance payments

Companies can postpone social insurance payments (24.8 % of wages) for three months (May, June and July). On gross wages, companies would pay only insurance premiums paid for employees (6.5 %). Companies can thus obtain a relatively cheap source of money. As a result of the deferral of social insurance payments, the payment of deferred insurance premiums will be increased by less than 4 % p. a.

Postponement of instalments

Senate approved a general suspension of mortgages, consumer and entrepreneurial loans for three months or six months. Individual entrepreneurs have deferred payment of both principal and interest. Legal entities have only the postponement of payment of principal, interest must be paid. From the corporate point of view, we perceive this step positively, as this measure would support corporate liquidity. 

Deferment of rents and sublets

Companies that had to close premises due to measures in the context of the coronavirus pandemic will be able to take advantage of the possibility of postponing rent and the landlord will not be able to terminate them within the protection period only due to non-payment of rent. The withdrawal period began to run retroactively from 12 March, when the state of emergency has been declared, and will run until 1 December 2020. This measure concerns the deferment or rents, the delay in payment, which occurred from 12 March to 30 June 2020. This measure is a deferral of rents, it does not concern payments for services. The measure concerns business entities in general.

Protection of travel agencies

Travel agents can postpone the refund for trips with a planned departure from 20 February to 31 August. A so-called withdrawal period should apply until 31 August next year to defer payment.

The travel agency will be obliged to offer the customer an equivalent trip during the protection period. If this is not possible, the withdrawal period will end and the travel agency will be obliged to reimburse the customer for all payments for the original trip.

Transport support package

Freight haulage carriers do not have to pay toll and road tax now, payments are deferred. Investments in transport infrastructure will also be strengthened and so-called “pendlers” traveling between the Czech Republic and Slovakia or Poland should also receive a help from the state.

Aid for the coronavirus epidemic of affected farmers

This allows to postpone the repayment of commercial loans provided by the Support and Guarantee Farm and Forestry Fund (PGRLF) or to provide guaranteed support for operational financing.

COVID 19, Czech Rise Up and Czech Rise Up 2.0 Programmes

These are so-called “smart measures against COVID-19”. They support the production of medical devices and the development and deployment of new technologies to combat coronavirus infection.

Under the COVID 19 Technology programme, enterpreneurs can apply for a 50% subsidy to purchase the machinery and equipment they need to start production. Subsidy in the amount of starting at CZK 250 000 up to CZK 20 million will be available until the end of 2020. The support will be in the form of the subsidy, with the possibility of expenditures incurred from 1 February 2020. Applications can be submitted from 4 May 2020 to 5 June 2020.

Culture Renewal Package

The government's budget reserve will release CZK 770 million to support non-state art entities and up to CZK 300 million to rehabilitate the contributory organizations of the Ministry of Culture, depending on whether the restrictions adopted by the government will continue after 31 May. The support will be used, for example, to make art accessible through digital technologies, to support regional culture and other independent artistic entities.

Amendments to the Insolvency Act

A bill amending the insolvency law is waiting for president's signature. The new legislation postpones the debtor's obligation to file an insolvency petition if it is bankrupt within six months after the expiry of the extraordinary government measures. Creditor proposals submitted by 31 August 2020 also should not be taken into account.

Emergency package of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MZV) for Czech companies

In the framework of the Emergency Package, entrepreneurs will be able to use the services of the Czech foreign network of embassies and other state instruments with significant state support to an increased and absolutely free extent.

The emergency package covers the following five areas:

1) practical information on conducting foreign operations during the crisis while national restrictions are in place;

2) assistance of embassies with trade issues;

3) finding and analysing opportunities, assisting in identifying and verifying suitable partners;

4) assistance and information sharing through a series of webinars and online consultations;

5) use of the services of local experts who will assist the local business in negotiating and implementing the business.

CzechTrade services free of charge

Until further notice, CzechTrade provides its services to companies affected by COVID-19 free of charge.

Source: ČTK, ČMZRB, investicniweb.cz, MZV, MPSV, MPO

COVID-19 mitigation subsidies

A large number of grant and compensation programmes and packages have come up and it may not be easy to find the right one. Therefore, we have prepared an overview of available grant programmes (which we will continuously update and amend) with basic information including parameters and conditions. Most of the subsidy programmes are still in preparation, but their launch is expected in the coming days.

Czech Rise Up

Based on an analysis conducted in a broad online business survey, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO) is launching a call between Czech entrepreneurs: the Czech Rise Up - Smart measures against COVID 19 program.

What  the Czech Rise Up programme?

It is a program designed to promote the rapid introduction of new solutions that can help to fight against coronavirus infections known as COVID-19, including measures to mitigate the impact of further spread and to address the effects of this crisis.

What can you gain from the programme?

Under the Czech Rise Up programme, you can apply for support of up to CZK 5 million for:

  • Acquisition of material for production of protective and medical devices;
  • Labor costs of employees involved in production and development;
  • Fast funding for technology and innovative new solutions.

Who can draw on this programme?

This program is designed for small, medium and large enterprises.

How much can be drawn within the programme?

As the support is provided in the form of de minimis, the maximum amount of support per project is up to CZK 5 million, or the equivalent of CZK 200,000. EUR. The aid intensity is in the range of 50-90% of the eligible expenditure by activity.

What are conditions of the programme?

Project covered by the grant programme:

  • should have a rapid, positive effect in the fight against COVID-19 and its subsequent impacts.

How to apply for support?

As of 2 April 2020, the support can be requested from the MPO by means of an official form available on the MPO website and subsequent submission of the application via a data box.

Within the form, it is necessary to fill in the applicant's basic identification data, project description, including planned costs. The MPO website also provides detailed instructions on how to complete the application form.

Country for the Future – Innovation to practice (COVID)

On 2 April 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Trade launched a one-stage tender for research, development and innovation.

What is the Country for the Future programme?

It is a programme designed to introduce a newly developed or innovated product into production and subsequently to the market. The content of supported projects may include process innovations, i.e. processes of production or service provision, organizational innovation, increased use of ICT in business, etc., which can in various aspects help with the fight against COVID-19 or its consequences and prevention.

What can you gain from the programme?

Under the Country for the Future programme, you can apply for support of CZK 1 million up to CZK 25 million for:

  • personnel costs;
  • the cost of acquiring tangible and intangible assets;
  • other operating costs;
  • service costs;
  • additional costs.

Who can draw on this programme?

This programme is designed for SMEs.

How much can be drawn within the programme?

The programme can draw up to CZK 25 million per project and the aid intensity per project can reach up to 100% of eligible costs. For 2020, a total of CZK 120 million is earmarked in the programme. A total of CZK 300 million has been earmarked for the entire project duration.

What are conditions of the programme?

Project covered by the programme:

  • must fulfill the objectives of the programme;
  • must be in line with the project focus, including the material priorities set;
  • must be realized in the Czech Republic;
  • must be started between 4 April 2020 and 1 September 2020; and
  • can last up to 36 months.

How to apply for support?

As of 3 April 2020, the support can be requested from the MPO by means of an official form available on the MPO website and subsequent submission of the application via a data box. It is necessary to fill in the applicant's basic identification data, project description, including the planned costs and expected benefits. The MPO website also provides detailed instructions on how to complete the application form. It is necessary to fill in the applicant's basic identification data, project description, including planned costs. Mandatory attachments are the project proposal according to the tender documentation and the CV of the project solver.

Individual project proposals will be evaluated in terms of meeting the conditions of the public tender. In order to determine the ranking of projects, the evaluation by the Sub-Program Council for a minimum of two independent opponent reviews based on established and scored criteria will be decisive.

COVID19 technology programme

With this programme the Ministry of Industry and Trade wants to support the production of medical devices and the development of the deployment of new technologies to combat coronavirus infection.

What is COVID19 technology programme?

This subsidy program is intended to support projects directly related to the fight against the further spread of coronavirus. The aid is intended for the purchase of machines for the production of medical devices.

What can you gain from the programme?

Within the COVID19 technology programme you can apply for support from CZK 250 thousand up to CZK 20 million and to apply expenditures retroactively from 1 February 2020. The aid amount will reach a maximum of 45% of the eligible costs for small enterprises and 35% of the eligible costs for medium-sized enterprises. This support may be used for the acquisition of new technological equipment and equipment and for the support of the production of medical products or other activities directly related to the direct fight against COVID-19.

Who can draw on this programme?

This programme is designed for SMEs.

How much can be drawn within the programme?

CZK 300 million is earmarked for the whole program; you can apply for CZK 250 thousand up to CZK  20 million.

What are conditions of the programme?

  • The project is realized in the Czech Republic, outside NUTS 2 Prague.
  • Project costs must be incurred to support the diversification of production to help combat COVID 19 and address the consequences of its dissemination or, in the same context, the purchase of new technologies, equipment and software with a direct link. 
  • The project must be aimed at supporting the production of medical products, or otherwise related to the fight against COVID-19, or address the consequences of a pandemic impact.
  • The applicant is obliged to publish the Financial Statements in the Commercial Register or to submit a proposal for entry in the Commercial Register. This obligation does not apply to projects with the required subsidy below CZK 2.5 million, inclusive.

How to apply for support?

Support will be available through a form published on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The support was launched on 15 April 2020 and the application are available from 4 May. 

COVID innovation voucher

The aim of the COVID innovation voucher programme is to launch or intensify innovative business activities in the fight against COVID19. The programme thus focuses primarily on projects that are designed to combat or prevent COVID19.

What is Innovation voucher COVID?

Innovative vouchers COVID offer support to businesses that help fight coronavirus. The subsidy can be used for:

  • measurement, diagnosis, testing, examination, analysis, verification, product certification;
  • calculations, design of new systems, technological processes, unique design solutions;
  • modelling, software development, hardware, material, equipment, system elements;
  • optimization of processes, product properties, services, methods, parameters, etc.

What can you gain from the programme?

Financial subsidy of 50 - 85% of eligible expenditure.

Who can draw on this programme?

This programme is designed for SMEs.

How much can be drawn within the programme?

Under the program the applicant can obtain from CZK 50 thousand up to CZK 1 million per project. The percentage of aid will reach 50-85% of the eligible expenditure.

What are conditions of the programme?

The project to which the subsidy project applies must be carried out outside NUTS 2 Prague.

How to apply for support?

How to apply for support?

From 17 April 2020, it is possible to apply for support from the Minister of Industry and Trade via the electronic form, which is available via the IS KP14 + internet application. Within the application, it is possible to state the basic identification data of the applicant and within the attachments to add a description of the project, including the planned budget. The administration and evaluation of subsidies are provided by the Agency of Business and Innovation. Sample files and detailed conditions of the subsidy are available on their website. Support will be available until the end of 2020.