The European Commission has approved two Cypriot schemes, with a total budget of €200 million, to support companies and self-employed that had to suspend their activities due to the restrictions that the government had to impose to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The Commission found that the two schemes are in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. The Commission concluded that the two measures are necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.

In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €225,000 per company active in the primary production of agriculture products, €270,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, and €1.8 million per company active in other sectors as provided by the Temporary Framework; and (ii) the aid will be granted before 31 December 2021.

According to the Commission, the two schemes were approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the first scheme, companies and self-employed will be entitled to receive direct grants of up to €300,000 (or €800,000 for hotels whose turnover in 2019 exceeded €20 million).

Under the second scheme, which will be open to self-employed persons who carry out taxable transactions of less than €15,600 per year (i.e. the ceiling under which an undertaking does not need to register for VAT purposes in Cyprus) the aid will take the form of direct grants.  Both schemes aim at addressing the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and to help them continue their activities during and after the outbreak.

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