Coronavirus – Overview of German economic aid measures for Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and nationwide

Published in Apr 17, 2020

The coronavirus has infected the German economy and start-ups are not spared. The German government and the federal states want to support companies during this period with liquidity aid in the form of loans. However, not all start-ups are eligible for loans. The federal states have now realized this and announced immediate measures for small businesses. In the following, we have taken a closer look at the measures taken by the individual federal states and summarized them here.

+++ Update (March 26, 2020): Applications in Saxony-Anhalt can be submitted to the Investitionsbank Saxony-Anhalt from Monday, March 30.


Emergency aid program for small and micro enterprises

Start on Monday 23 March

The Thuringian Ministry of Economics, Science and Digital Society has given green light for the announced “Corona Emergency Aid Program” for the Thuringian economy. The protective shield was designed for small businesses, freelancers, solo self-employed and other professional groups.

The program is limited to applicants who have fallen into economic difficulties due to the coronavirus. Companies with up to 50 employees and sole traders can receive up to 30,000 euros, depending on the number of employees.

Click here for the press release of the TMWWDG.

Applications can be submitted from Monday, 23 March via the Thüringer Aufbaubank

Further aid measures for start-ups in Thuringia

The country has established a task force “Corona & Economy”. The Task Force includes representatives of chambers and associations, trade unions, Thüringer Aufbaubank, the State Administration Office and Employment Agency as well as various departments.

To bridge liquidity bottlenecks, companies have access to established support instruments such as the Bürgschaftsprogramm or the consolidation fund of the Thüringer Aufbaubank. In addition, the law on short-time work benefits has been amended nationwide. Further measures for social security contributions and tax relief have been announced. In addition, the Ministry of Economics wants to make the subsidy regulations more flexible – for example, by extending investment periods.

This is the advice of the expert for start-ups from Thuringia affected by the corona crisis

Stephan Beier is Senior Investment Manager at bm-t and he also advises start-ups that are currently struggling with the economic consequences of the coronavirus not to lose sight of their money.

Costs should be saved where possible. Not only when it comes to trade fairs or events, but also when, for example, large expenditures for marketing campaigns were planned.  Start-ups should keep an eye on their KPI’s and if you notice that customers are not thinking about postponing their campaigns, you should do so.


Special program for micro-enterprises

Minister of Economics Martin Dulig and Minister-President Michael Kretschmer have launched a special program to cushion micro-enterprises in Saxony that are currently falling through the net of previous aid measures.

The special program is to help above all small Saxon companies and freelancers whose annual turnover does not exceed one million euros and who have to bridge liquidity bottlenecks due to the consequences of the coronavirus.

The loan will be interest-free and will amount to up to 50,000 euros, in exceptional cases even up to 100,000 euros. The term is ten years and the first three years will be provided without repayment. The advantage of the so-called state loan is that the approval works without a house bank and the loan can, therefore, be granted quickly and flexibly.

What is special about the loan is that the economic situation of small enterprises that take advantage of the special program is analyzed again after the three grace years. If the loan cannot then be repaid, the claim can be partially or completely waived.

Click here for the press release of Medienservice Sachsen.

The emergency aid can be applied for from Monday, 23 March 2020 at the Sächsische Aufbaubank (SAB).

Further aid measures by Saxony

In addition to the nationwide measures for short-time work compensation, tax exemptions and social security contributions, Saxon companies are also given access to the extended KfW subsidies from the protective shield of the federal government via the SAB. The contact for guarantee matters is Bürgschaftsbank Sachsen.


Ministry of Economy drafts emergency programme for companies in the country

The Ministry of Economics of Saxony-Anhalt will also launch an emergency program for solo self-employed persons and micro-enterprises. This program explicitly provides for subsidies for this target group, will be based on the federal aid announced last week and will be tailored to the economic structure of Saxony-Anhalt. The current loan programs of the Investitionsbank Sachsen-Anhalt are also to be improved for the target group.

“Because it is particularly important now for small companies and self-employed persons to remain liquid, even if operations are temporarily suspended and no more orders can be processed due to the crisis,” explained Economics Minister Prof. Dr. Armin Willingmann.

New information was announced at a press conference on 26 March

In line with the federal aid package, the Ministry of Economics of Saxony-Anhalt will issue a directive on corona emergency aid in the near future. Unlike loans, the grants do not have to be repaid. Companies with

  • up to 5 employees receive up to 9,000 euros,
  • 6 to 10 employees up to 15.000 Euro,
  • 11 to 25 employees up to 20,000 euros,
  • 26 to 50 employees up to 25,000 euros.

According to the Ministry of Economics, the Investitionsbank Sachsen-Anhalt will be responsible for awarding the grants. 

The only requirement for the application is an affidavit that the company can no longer meet its demands as a result of the Corona crisis and that its existence is therefore endangered, according to the Ministry of Economics. Evidence of this is not necessary. All current operating costs, such as rent, leases, leasing rates, insurance, energy costs and maintenance costs can be claimed.

In addition to self-employed persons and companies, artists, cultural workers and agricultural enterprises can also apply for a subsidy. In addition to the grants, the state will also set up a programme of attractive loans for companies to ensure liquidity.

In order to disburse the aid applied for as quickly as possible, the Investitionsbank is pooling its capacities and is supported in terms of personnel by the state administration. The aim is to disburse the aid within a few days of receipt of the application.

Click here for the press release of the Ministry of Economics, Science and Digitalisation Saxony-Anhalt, and here for the latest information on the grants.

Applications can be submitted to the Investment Bank of Saxony-Anhalt from Monday 30 March.

Other support measures for start-ups from Saxony-Anhalt

The Ministry of Economics, Science and Digitisation, first of all, refers to the established funding possibilities of the Investitionsbank Sachsen-Anhalt and the Bürgschaftsbank Sachsen-Anhalt. The Ministry of Finance has also announced tax aid measures.



The German government has promised financial aid in the form of a protective shield, which is based on the four pillars

  • Flexibilization of the short-time working allowance,
  • fiscal liquidity support,
  • a billion-dollar protection shield for businesses and companies
  • and the strengthening of European cohesion.

Update (23 March): 50 billion euros in emergency aid for small businesses in the form of grants on the way 

Two hours ago, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy announced via press release that Federal Finance Minister Scholz and Federal Economics Minister Altmaier are launching further comprehensive measures in the form of grants of up to 50 billion euros for small companies, self-employed persons and members of the liberal professions.

“We are going full steam ahead in order to also provide support for micro-enterprises and solo self-employed persons. They need our special support, they are being hit hard by this crisis. That is why the Federal Government is now providing emergency aid quickly and unbureaucratically. What is very important to me is that we give a grant, not a loan. So nothing has to be paid back. In this way we reach those who urgently need our support now”, explains Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz in the press release.

Emergency financial aid (grants) for small businesses applies to all economic sectors as well as to self-employed persons and members of the liberal professions with up to 10 employees. The programme volume is up to 50 billion euros. In detail it is planned:

  • up to € 9000 one-off payment for 3 months for up to 5 employees,
  • up to 15,000 € one-off payment for 3 months for up to 10 employees.

According to the draft, the application should be made online. It is not yet clear when this will be possible. We will update this article as soon as new information becomes available.

Click here for the BMWi press release.

Protective shield for employees and companies

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy is providing a comprehensive overview of all measures taken by the Federal Government to mitigate the economic consequences of coronavirus. The aim is to protect companies and jobs by providing companies and businesses with sufficient liquidity. Economics Minister Altmaier and Federal Finance Minister Scholz presented the protective shield for employees and companies (PDF, 431 KB).

For start-ups nationwide, the adjustment of the KfW support measures, especially the ERP Start-up Credit Universal, is of particular relevance. The volume of these measures will be increased and their liability will be reduced. The document of the shield states:

“The conditions for the KfW Entrepreneur Loan (for existing enterprises) and ERP Start-up Loan – Universal (for young enterprises under 5 years of age) will be relaxed by increasing the risk assumption (indemnity against liability) for working capital loans and opening the instruments to large enterprises with a turnover of up to EUR 2 billion (previously: EUR 500 million). Higher risk assumptions of up to 80% for working capital loans of up to 200 million euros will stimulate the willingness of house banks to grant loans”.

KfW’s promotional opportunities are available through the respective Landesbanken of the federal states.

Relief for short-time working arrangements agreed

The federal government has approved the announced relief for short-time work compensation. These will come into force retroactively as of 01 March this year and will also be paid out retroactively.

This has changed:

  • Entitlement to short-time work benefits exists if at least 10 per cent of employees have a loss of earnings of more than 10 per cent.
  • Social security contributions incurred are reimbursed at 100 per cent for lost working hours.
  • Temporary workers can also go on short-time work and are entitled to the short-time allowance.
  • In companies where agreements on working time fluctuations are used, no negative working time accounts are created.
  • The other requirements for claiming reduced hours compensation remain valid.

The German Federal Employment Agency has clearly shown how you can apply for short-time work compensation in explanatory videos

This article is a translation of a German article that was first published on Startup-Mitteldeutschland.