Payments from the € 1 billion Hardship Fund should begin in the coming week. It was set up for the purpose of providing assistance to self-employed persons and small businesses. Payments of € 1,000 should be made immediately in the initial phase, and a maximum of € 6,000 is possible in the second phase, according to Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler, Federal Minister of Digital and Economic Affairs Margarete Schramböck and Minister of Finance Gernot Blümel at yesterday's press conference. The applications will be handled by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.
Loans only have to be partially repaid
The € 15 billion Emergency Fund is designed to aid sectors directly impacted by the coronavirus, such as the gastronomy and retail sectors. The Emergency Fund will make a mix of loans and grants available to preserve the liquidity of companies. Loans amounting to a maximum of a firm's quarterly revenue can be granted, with interest rates kept as low as possible.
The priority is to make money available to companies as quickly as it can be done, implementing the program on a goodwill basis as much as possible and requiring only as much control as necessary. Federal Minister of Digital and Economic Affairs Schramböck emphasized the fact that "this involves support provided by the Hardship Fund, not a loan. The money does not have to be repaid."
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