NRW Economics Minister Andreas Pinkwart (FDP), in his role as the mouthpiece for the federal states, has asked the federal government to improve new corona aid for companies.
The down payment should be up to 150,000 euros per month and not just 100,000 euros as previously planned, said the chairman of the conference of economics ministers on Friday, January 22nd in Düsseldorf.
He justified the demand for a higher advance on the later payments with the fact that it will take a long time before the full funding is paid out - it is all the more important that the companies get money into the empty coffers beforehand.
It's about the "Bridging Aid III" and thus about the latest Corona funding program, which, according to Pinkwart, is "about to be finalized".
On Tuesday, the federal government agreed on improvements to Corona aid, on Thursday afternoon Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) spoke about it with his colleagues in the federal states.
As a result of this conversation, Pinkwart was satisfied that there should be more help compared to the previous bridging aid II. As an example, he cited fashion retailers who are now recognized as reimbursable fixed costs for seasonal goods.
At the same time he called for changes.
Bridging aid III relates to the period from January to June 2021 and, to a lesser extent, retrospectively for November and December 2020. The maximum monthly funding amount is to be increased to up to 1.5 million euros per company.
Companies that had to close due to official orders have received grants of a maximum of 500,000 euros per month.
For all other companies with significant sales losses, the upper limit was previously 200,000 euros.
Companies with an annual turnover of 750 million euros should be eligible to apply.
This increases the number of companies that could get the financial injections.
In bridging aid II, this maximum value was 500 million euros.
From the point of view of the state ministers, however, companies that have higher sales should also be eligible for funding: "Here is our request for our trade that an increase to a sales limit of up to 1.5 billion euros is possible," said Pinkwart.
Such a maximum value should apply to all affected industries, but retail in particular would benefit from this increase.
"This is not a problem under state aid law, it can be designed here for the federal government."
In the corona pandemic, the state jumped into the economy to prevent its collapse.
Above all, the federal government introduced extensive aid in which the federal states were involved.
For a few months now, however, there has been growing frustration in the sectors particularly affected - for example in gastronomy - that the promised money is still not there.
One of the reasons for this was that the software required for editing was only available very late.
On Friday, Pinkwart presented figures on the money that has already flowed in NRW.
According to him, 52,000 applications were received for November aid, 10,000 of which came from self-employed people.
According to him, EUR 327 million has already been paid in advance for these applications.
Around 36,000 applications were received for December aid, 8,000 of them from self-employed people.
According to the information, 220 million euros have already been paid in advance for this.
To cover the remaining claims, 45 million euros have been paid so far - which is only a small proportion of these claims.
In view of the criticism of outstanding payments, Pinkwart said that "the impression was given that there was nothing at all - I want to oppose this and acknowledge that the federal government has already awarded important services to companies".