RIGA - The European Commission has approved Latvia's EUR 51 million support program for businesses hit by the Covid-19 crisis, Kaspars Kreics, a spokesman for the European Commission's Representation in Latvia, informed LETA.
He indicated that the government-financed program is intended to support exporting enterprises that have suffered from the Covid-19 crisis. The program was approved in accordance with a temporary regulation for government support measures. The public support, which will be provided in the form of grants, will cover up to 25 percent of mandatory social security contributions made by the recipients.
The government approved the regulations for the provision of support to exporting enterprises affected by the coronavirus crisis on July 14. According to the State Revenue Service's data, there are 350 enterprises qualifying for the government support. The total amount made available to exporting businesses under the support program is EUR 51 million.
The support will be provided in the form of grants, which will be provided to subsidize wages of the employees working in the affected companies.
The size of the support has been set at 25 percent of the social security contributions made by the given company in 2019, but it cannot exceed EUR 800,000 per company.
Eligible for the support are those crisis-stricken taxpayers whose exports of goods and services within the European Union, excluding Latvia, reached at least EUR 1 million in 2019 and whose April-June 2020 operating revenue fell by at least 20 percent on year as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Wage subsidies will only be provided to those companies that have been paying at least EUR 800 in gross monthly wages to their employees and are not running tax debts that are bigger than EUR 1,000.
Exporters can apply for the support until September 30 by filing an application with the Latvian Investment and Development Agency, which will be supervising the support program.