Everything you need to know about economic assistance

Q&A

Nine questions answered by the Confederation to companies particularily affected by the pandemic

 Everything you need to know about economic assistance
Economic aid and hardship cases, everything you need to know

Everything you need to know about economic assistance

Economic aid and hardship cases, everything you need to know

1. What do you accept as a ‘hardship case’?

When the turnover of a company during 2020 has suffered a loss of at least 40% compared to the average of previous years.

2. In view of the ‘possible’ Federal Council restrictions - which will be announced tomorrow - could the rules for accessing hardship cases change?

The Federal Council intends to go in this direction by loosening the regulatory framework that allows access to this economic aid. At least this is what the President of the Confederation Guy Parmelin expressed himself on Friday during the «Arena» program of the Swiss-German TV SRF. Parmelin has hinted that the procedure will be streamlined so that aid is distributed as quickly as possible. In particular, to help the catering, culture and sport sectors affected by the extension of the closures. According to the latest rumors, the Federal Council could also lower the threshold by which a case of hardship is defined.

3. Under what conditions can a company obtain aid for hardship cases?

The company must have been founded before 1 March 2020. It must have achieved a turnover of at least 50,000 francs in 2018 and 2019. Most of the salary costs must be borne in Switzerland. And then there is the fundamental criterion of loss on annual turnover. Today this threshold is set at 40%, but could be lowered by the Federal Council to 20/25%.

4. How much is the aid in Ticino for these cases?

The message from the Council of State foresees aid for 75.6 million francs, 24.5 million to be paid by the canton, the rest by the Confederation. This aid will go to companies active in the sectors most affected by the pandemic which have experienced a significant decrease in their turnover. The vote in Parliament is expected by the end of the month.

5. Which sectors will be eligible for aid in Ticino?

The beneficiary sectors were indicated by the Council of State in the message for hardship cases of 23 December. In accordance with federal law, the cantons are responsible for defining the scope of the aid. The beneficiary sectors are therefore the following: events, showcasters, demonstrations and entertainment; gyms, sports centers, fitness and wellness centers; travel, non-regular road transport, business tourism; catering and small and medium distribution.

6. What forms of aid are there?

The Canton has decided to take advantage of both non-repayable contributions and loans guaranteed by surety, letting companies choose the one that best suits their business model. Companies will therefore be able to choose between a non-repayable contribution equal to 10% of the average turnover for the years 2018-2019. Or a guarantee of 25%, again relating to the average turnover of that period. The maximum aid ceiling is set at 350 thousand francs for non-repayable contributions and 1 million francs for sureties.

7. What is the cantonal procedure for accessing aid?

The applicant company must fill out a self-certification online that it complies with the legislative requirements. If the latter are respected, an audit firm with ASR (Federal Audit Supervisory Authority) certification carries out the checks established by the State Council and certifies their correctness. If successful, the beneficiary company can then submit the formal request for support online at www.ti.ch/casidirigore (not yet active at the moment).

8. How soon will the aid be disbursed?

Requests from companies can be submitted online as soon as the program is launched. The legislative decree is proposed with the urgency clause, so that it can enter into force immediately, without having to wait until the referendum term of 60 days has elapsed from its publication in the Official Gazette. Before being published in the Official Bulletin, however, it must be approved by the Grand Council.

9. The message of the Council of State can be found in the Management and Finance Commission. In what direction are the commissioners moving?

Except for last minute unforeseen events, we will move towards a unique relationship. Likely - the president and designated rapporteur of the report Matteo Quadranti (PLR) explains - the signature could come as early as this morning, so as to go to the Grand Council and get the green light in the session of 25 January. If, on the other hand, the signature should be postponed by a week, the Management will proceed with the urgency formula to bring the report to the classroom by the end of the month. In agreement with the DFE - concludes Quadranti - the commission reserves the right to intervene on the decree law with amendments in the two weeks following the signature, to adapt the text to the federal news that will emerge from the Federal Council in the coming days.

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