At 9:00 on 11 May, Enterprise Estonia will start accepting applications for the crisis support for tourism companies and the support for compensation for damage to small enterprises, which were approved with a resolution of the government, via its e-service. 25 million euros will be paid as support to accommodation and food service companies, tourist service providers and attractions from the tourism measure. 10 million euros will be used to compensate micro and small enterprises and self-employed persons for the damage caused by the crisis.
“The goal of the crisis support of the government is to ensure that as many small and medium-sized companies as possible get the support, as it’s harder for them to go to banks than it is for larger companies,” said Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Raul Siem. “The government wants to guarantee support that is as broad as possible and would also consider the terms and conditions of other crisis measures without duplicating them, so that the taxpayer’s money is used as prudently as possible.”
The Government decided to support the tourism sector with 25 million euros, and micro and small enterprises with 10 million euros, and also determined the regulations and conditions of the support. The crisis support to tourism and small enterprises is non-refundable aid, which can be applied for once, and paid out if the connection between the company’s difficulties and the crisis can be clearly identified. The impact of the virus on the company’s economic activities must be described when support is requested. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are submitted, which means that they will not be accepted after the budget of the support has been used up.
The size of the tourism support depends on the labour taxes paid, the size of and decrease in turnover during the crisis in comparison with the same period in the previous year, and amounts from 2,000 euros to 60,000 euros depending on the tourism company’s area of activity. The amount of support to small companies ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 euros per company depending on the size of the company’s turnover and loss of turnover during the crisis in comparison with the same period the year before.
At the time of submitting the application, the company may not have any non-deferred tax arrears as at 12 March 2020. An application must be submitted in the e-Tax and Customs Board in order to defer tax arrears quickly and you must also send a notification to the e-mail address email@example.com to have your request reviewed as soon as possible. The company that applies for support must also have submitted all of the required tax returns and annual reports the submission deadlines of which have arrived.
The threat of fraud and corruption in the economy has also increased because of the state of emergency, which created difficulties for many companies. Enterprise Estonia will therefore apply additional control mechanisms in the case of the crisis measures in order to identify breaches. Automatic controls are used in many work sections, which help analyse large amounts of data and identify any red flags. Support that is not used for its purpose will be clawed back.
In addition to the government’s crisis support, Enterprise Estonia also supports entrepreneurs with its support for product development and for the development of tourism business models, the terms and conditions of which will become more flexible soon.
The terms and conditions of the support can be found on the website of Enterprise Estonia at www.eas.ee/covid-19-toetused/ .