BUSINESS

Extra support for companies

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance

The government announced a new batch of measures on Friday to support the enterprises and self-employed professionals active in areas with local lockdowns or increased restrictions due to the pandemic.

Concerning this December’s fourth phase of cheap state loans, known as the “Deposit To Be Returned,” the new support package for the red color-coded areas on the coronavirus map provides that only 50% will have to be returned by companies based in areas that have spent at least 14 days at Level 4 (i.e. the highest) of the pandemic’s emergency scale between August and December.

Likewise, companies that have been at Level 3 for at least 14 days since August – which is half of the country, including Attica – only 70% of the loans to be issued in December will have to be returned.

The government is also granting corporations the option of temporarily suspending their employees’ contracts, with each worker set to receive 534 euros per month of furlough from the state (provided each employee has been suspended for at least 14 calendar days). However, the corporations that take that option must also retain the same number of employees for at least the same period of time as their staff’s furlough after they resume full operations.

For companies forced to shut down by government decision because the area where they are located has been categorized as Level 4, their employees’ labor contracts will be placed on mandatory suspension, and for as long that lasts no dismissals will be allowed.

Freelancers, self-employed professionals and owners of enterprises employing up to 20 people in an area that has been categorized as Level 4 for at least two weeks are also entitled to a €534 special purpose compensation per month. Notably, if their area spends less than 14 days at Level 4, their monthly compensation will amount to €300.

Level 4 area companies will also get the opportunity to have their value-added tax payment that is due by end-October suspended until April 30, 2021, after which it will be repaid in 12 or 24 tranches.

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