What financial assistance packages or ways to mitigate the financial impact have been adopted?
A large number of exceptional measures were taken to facilitate financing, especially for SMEs and the self-employed whose businesses had to close down temporarily or were affected by drastic falls in turnover. To summarize roughly, the following aid has been launched:
The Spanish Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation (“Ministerio de Asuntos Económicos y Transformación Digital”) has promised guarantees of up to EUR 100 billion for lines of credit granted by credit institutions, financial credit institutions, e-money institutions and payment institutions to companies and the self-employed.
The net credit limit of the so-called official credit institution (“Instituto de Crédito Oficial”, or ICO for short) via the ICO’s financing lines has been increased by EUR 10 billion in order to provide additional liquidity to companies, especially SMEs and the self-employed.
The new ICO credit lines will be combined with the specific measures already adopted to support the tourism sector, which is very important for Spain. These include an extension of the so-called Thomas Cook financing line to provide a specific ICO credit line to all companies based in Spain in the tourism sector. However, only those enterprises that are individually listed in the emergency package using the so-called CNAE code (National Classification of Economic Activities, “Clasificación Nacional de Actividades Económicas”, or CNAE for short) are included in this line of credit. It therefore does not concern all areas and companies in this sector, e.g. not pure event agencies.
In the field of SME digitalization, the ICO will finance the purchase and leasing of equipment and services for SME digitalization and home office solutions with more than 200 million euros over the next two years. In the field of science and innovation, it should be possible to apply for state aid under certain conditions without the strict presentation of a guarantee. The creation of an special insurance line of up to EUR 2 billion will be approved to secure working capital loans required for export activities.
In addition, a suspension of the payment of mortgage instalments to the banks was ordered. In order to benefit from this suspension, however, a number of conditions must be met (e.g. only primary residences or headquarters of the business activity; only applies to property owners who are in financial difficulties or in a precarious situation – unemployed, entrepreneurs or freelancers with significant losses in turnover, etc.)