Due to the continuing high numbers of infections in the course of the Corona pandemic, the federal and state governments decided on 05.01.2021 to extend the lockdown to 31.01.2021. In principle, all the measures taken will remain in place until the end of January, and in some cases they have even been tightened.

  • Tightenings mainly affect private contacts. Thus, from 11.01.2021, meetings are only permitted with a single person outside the own household. The current exemptions for children under 14 years of age are deleted.
  • New additions include possible restrictions on the radius of movement. In counties with a seven-day incidence of more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, this is limited to 15 kilometres around one’s home.
  • The retail sector remains closed with a few exceptions. These include grocery shops, pharmacies and drugstores, baby stores, medical and health food stores, opticians and hearing aid acousticians, car and bicycle repair shops, banks, savings banks and post offices as well as dry cleaners and launderettes. The pick-up and delivery service also remains open.
  • Schoolsremain closed or compulsory attendance is suspended. In NRW, the decision to send children to school is up to the parents. However, switching back and forth is not permitted. For children from grade 8 onwards, distance learning applies in principle.
  • Kindergartens remain basically shot, but emergency care remains available for all. However, parents are encouraged to care for their children at home whenever possible.
  • Children’s health allowance will be granted for 10 additional days per parent in 2021. This benefit also applies if care is required at home because school or daycare is closed due to corona.

 

On 25.01.2021, the federal and state governments will meet again to decide on regulations from February. We keep you up to date.

https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/corona-massnahmen-1734724

News for businesses and companies


In recent months, the German government has put together a comprehensive package of measures to minimise the economic impact of Corona on companies and businesses. In the following we give you an overview of the most important measures.
How can we also help you? Please contact us. Together we consider which measures are suitable for you personally and advise and support you in the application process.
In addition, we are happy to assist you with our remediation consulting services and support you with our expertise.
https://www.sanierungsberater-koeln.de/

Overview of current subsidies and aid


Against the background of the now extended partial lockdown, the existing financial assistance from the Federal Government and the Länder for affected self-employed persons and companies will also be extended and expanded. Companies of all sizes should thus receive support from the federal government as quickly and unbureaucratically as possible to cushion the economic consequences of the corona pandemic.
The following schemes will be added to the existing aid already listed.

For the self-employed and companies severely affected by the closures of the partial lockdown, the Federal Government will provide extraordinary economic aid of around 15 billion euro. Under the November aid scheme, those affected will receive grants amounting to 75% of their average turnover in November 2019.
Not only directly affected companies are eligible to apply, but also indirectly affected companies if they regularly generate 80% of their turnover in cooperation with directly affected companies.
Applications can be submitted immediately and can be simplified via the bridging assistance platform by tax consultants, lawyers, sworn auditors or accountants. The first instalments can already be paid at the end of the current month.
In addition, in a press release of 27.11.2020, the Federal Government assures that within the framework of the December aid this support will be extended and that also in December grants of up to 75% of the turnover from the previous month can be applied for. The application for this is currently being prepared.

Bridging aid is a grant towards a company’s fixed costs that does not have to be repaid. The previously valid Bridging Assistance II, which runs until the end of December, will be extended and improved as of January under the name Bridging Assistance III until the end of June 2021. Companies with an annual turnover of up to 500,000 euros are eligible to apply.
An important part of the bridging aid III is the so-called start-up aid for solo self-employed persons. This is intended to benefit those who cannot claim operating costs. They are to receive a one-off payment of up to 5,000 euros from the federal government without red tape. This measure is intended to help those particularly affected in the cultural and events sector.
Applications can be submitted with the start of the programme from 01.01. 2021 must be provided.

In view of the continuing tense economic situation, the KfW special programmes will be extended by the Federal Government until the end of June 2021. In addition, companies with up to 10 employees will also be able to use them in future. Through their house banks, thesemicro-enterprises can now apply for KfW loans of up to 300,000 euros, depending on the turnover achieved in 2019. The credit volume for companies with over 50 employees is up to EUR 800,000.

In order to ensure that the loans are disbursed quickly, approval is granted without further risk assessment.

1. loans


  • KfW Special Programme 2020
    Since March 2020, commercial enterprises of all sizes that have got into difficulties because of the Corona crisis can apply for loans under the KfW Special Programme 2020. In concrete terms, this means that all companies that were not in difficulty on 31.12.2019 can apply for a loan. The funds for the KfW Special Programme are unlimited.
    In order to facilitate access, credit conditions have been further improved. For example, risk assessment has been simplified to speed up settlement, interest rates reduced or maturities extended.
    Further support measures can be found at: https://www.kfw.de/inlandsfoerderung/Unternehmen/KfW-Corona-Hilfe/
  • KfW Express Loan
    The KfW Quick Loan is a supplement to the KfW Special Loan and is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises. They can apply for loans for working capital and investments until the end of 2020. In order to enable faster loan approval, no risk assessment is carried out by the house bank or KfW.
    https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Coronavirus/kleine-mittlere-grosse-unternehmen.html

2. guarantees


The guarantee programmes of the federal and state governments are basically aimed at all companies that have an increased need for liquidity as a result of the Corona crisis, for example because of lost sales or a lack of employees.
Due to the current crisis situation, many examination procedures have been accelerated. Thus, it is usually possible to receive feedback on the guarantee application within a few weeks.
If you are interested in a guarantee scheme, you should contact a guarantee bank or lender.
https://www.kfw.de/inlandsfoerderung/Unternehmen/KfW-Corona-Hilfe/#detail-1-target

3. support package for start-ups


In principle, start-ups have access to all the support measures of the Corona aid package. However, classic credit instruments are usually not compatible with the needs of young, innovative start-ups. Often the credit requirements of house banks are not met by start-ups due to their young age and innovative business ideas. For this reason, there is a separate support package for start-ups and start-ups. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy is expanding venture capital financing for start-ups with around 2 billion euro.
The steps to be taken in relation to this specific package of measures include
– strengthening venture capital investors (at fund level) to provide additional capital to portfolio companies facing liquidity constraints
– Support for financing rounds with defaulting fund investors (“secondary market”)
– Support for young start-ups without venture capitalists in the shareholder group and small medium-sized enterprises
Further information can be found at:
https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Artikel/Wirtschaft/Corona-Virus/unterstuetzungsmassnahmen-faq.html

4. economic stabilisation fund (WSF)


The Economic Stabilisation Fund – also known as the WSF – is designed to stabilise the economy following the coronavirus pandemic. It is aimed at companies in the real economy whose survival would have a significant impact on Germany as a business location or labour market. The WSF supplements the planned special programmes of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). With a total volume of around €600 million, it provides companies with stabilisation measures in the form of guarantees and sureties.
The main stabilisation instruments are (combined application possible):
– Guarantees to secure loans, including credit lines, and capital market products in the debt area. (bridging liquidity bottlenecks)
– Recapitalisations to directly strengthen equity.
– further credit authorisation for EUR 100 billion to refinance the KfW special programmes
IMPORTANT: Agricultural enterprises suffering from the consequences of the Corona pandemic and lacking sufficient collateral are now eligible for loans. For further information, please consult:
https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/corona-hilfen-1744926
The application for the WSF is always made by a tax consultant, auditor or sworn auditor.
For further information:
https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/wirtschaftsstabilisierung-1733458
https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Coronavirus/WSF/zugangskriterien.html

1. fiscal measures


In the area of taxation, the German government has adopted numerous measures as part of the economic stimulus package to minimise the economic damage of the corona pandemic for businesses and citizens.
This concerns not only the reduction of VAT to 16%, but also, among other things, the possibility of tax deferrals amounting to billions of euros, the reduction of advance tax payments or the refund of advance VAT payments.
https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Coronavirus/kleine-mittlere-grosse-unternehmen.html

2. short-time working allowance


The Federal Cabinet has decided to extend facilitated access to short-time work benefits. Until the end of 2021, an increased short-time working allowance of up to 80% of the lost net remuneration is guaranteed. With a child in the household this can increase by up to 87%. The maximum subscription period is increased to 24 months (limited to the end of 2021). Redundancies are to be prevented by increasing the short-time working allowance and extending the period of entitlement.
A company can already declare short-time work if at least ten percent of the employees in the company are affected by a loss of work of more than ten percent. In principle, this threshold is set at one third of the workforce.
You can find more detailed information at:
https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/verlaengerung-kurzarbeitergeld-1774190
https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/news/corona-virus-informationen-fuer-unternehmen-zum-kurzarbeitergeld

1. social protection packages


In the current corona crisis, more and more small entrepreneurs and solo self-employed persons are accessing private reserves, thus endangering their existence. This is to be avoided by fast and unbureaucratic access to basic protection. To this end, the comprehensive wealth audit will be temporarily suspended: In addition, housing costs will basically be reduced. was adopted in its entirety.
The aim of these measures is to prevent workers from falling into existential distress as a result of the current crisis.
In concrete terms, this applies to the period from 1 March to 31 December 2020:
– Simplified procedure for the verification of assets through self-declaration by the applicant
– temporary recognition of actual expenditure on housing and heating for six months without an adequacy finding
– Facilitating the taking into account of income for a quick granting of
– benefits (provisional authorisation for six months).
You can find more detailed information at:
https://www.bmas.de/DE/Schwerpunkte/Informationen-Corona/Sozialschutz-Paket/sozialschutz-paket.html