COVID-19: EC approves Polish aid programme for companies

The European Commission on Wednesday approved a Polish aid programme worth EUR 1.9 billion which is to support companies most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the EC Vice-President said.

"Companies operating in sectors such as tourism, entertainment and sports have been hit hard by the outbreak of the coronavirus. This Polish programme will help ensure liquidity for companies operating in these sectors in these difficult times and ensure the continuity of their business activities. We continue our close cooperation with Member States to find practical solutions to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic in line with EU rules," Margrethe Vestager said.

Poland submitted the programme to the European Commission which, under the temporary legal framework for state aid for companies, will provide support to enterprises of all sizes operating in several sectors most affected by the pandemic, including gastronomy, fitness, entertainment and recreation, photography, physiotherapy, as well as the film industries.

Companies in these sectors have not been able to provide services due to the restrictions introduced by the Polish government in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus, or had to bear the costs related to sanitary restrictions that caused a partial downturn in customers.

Aid in the form of subsidies will be available to companies that declare a decrease in revenues in October or November 2020 of at least 40 percent compared to the same period in 2019, or a decrease in income in one of the three months preceding the application for aid by at least 40 percent compared with the income earned in the previous month or in the same period of the previous year.

Aid in the form of exemptions from paying contributions, such as social or health insurance, for the period from 1 to 30 November 2020 will also be available to companies that declare a decrease in revenues in November 2020 by at least 40 percent on a year-on-year basis.

The European Commission assessed that the programme put forward by Poland complies with the conditions set out in the temporary legal framework regulating such aid solutions.