Corona Emergency Aid

Corona crisis: What do you need to know? 

Here we answer how you can apply for Corona Emergency Aid IV (Soforthilfe  IV), the Corona Bridging Aid (Überbrückungshilfe) and the Extraordinary Economic December Corona Aid / November Corona Aid (November- und Dezemberhilfe) due to the Corona crisis - fast, simple, unbureaucratic. The FAQ is updated continuously. As soon as we become aware of new questions or problems, we will add them to the list of questions. We would like to point out that all information is legally non-binding.

Do you know our overview of other emergency aid, handling of subsidies and legal issues? That is what we offer you here

Applications for Corona aid can be submitted to IBB in Berlin. An overview of all current and past Corona aid programs can be found here.

NEWS: The IBB is writing to recipients of the Corona Soforthilfe II since December 2020. The bank is asking the recipients to compare the funds they have got to their actual needs. More Information is found here on the IBB Website.

Selection of current Corona aids

Our advisory center of Kreativ Kultur Berlin, as an official consulting partner within the framework of Emergency Aid IV 4.0 (Soforthilfe IV 4.0), provide information via the IBB contact form on questions that go beyond the FAQ catalog of the Soforthilfe IV Corona Aid Programme. 

Emergency Aid IV 4.0 (Soforthilfe IV 4.0) No direct application possible; but via an application for Bridging Aid III until 31st March 2021, followed by an expression of interest procedure.
Restart Aid (Neustarthilfe) for solo self-employed has been available for application since February 16 to August 31, 2021.
The Bridging Aid, 3rd phase, (Überbrückungshilfe III) can be applied for since February 10 to August 31, 2021 .
Extraordinary Economic December Corona Aid can be applied for since December 23 to expected April 30.
Extraordinary Economic November Corona Aid can be applied for since November 25 to expected April 30.
Applications for the 2nd phase of the Corona Bridging Aid (Überbrückungshilfe) can be submitted from October 20, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

Emergency Aid IV 4.0 (Soforthilfe IV 4.0)


Note: Emergency Aid IV 4.0 can only be applied for downstream via Bridging Aid III. In order to be able to apply for funds from Emergency Aid IV 4.0, an application for Bridging Aid III from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy must therefore first be submitted by your tax advisor by March 31, 2021.

  • What is Emergency Aid IV 4.0?
    • Emergency Aid IV 4.0 is a grant program of the State of Berlin for cultural and media enterprises (with at least 2 employees) that have been particularly hard hit by the Corona crisis. The grant is intended to help the respective companies cover operating costs and commercial material and financial expenses in the months of March to June 2021, as well as costs accrued since March 11, 2020, if ongoing revenues from the applicant's business operations are not expected to be sufficient to cover them. Applicants must have used all relevant assistance provided by the federal and state governments. In particular, use of the federal government's Bridging Aid III is a prerequisite of Emergency Aid IV 4.0.

  • Who is eligible to apply?
    • Eligible applicants are cultural and media companies affected by the Corona crisis (for industry codes, see FAQ section "What types of companies and institutions belong to the cultural and media industry and are therefore eligible to apply?") with at least 2 employees (full-time equivalents) that are not regularly or predominantly publicly funded and have their headquarters or operating facilities in Berlin (and are also registered with a Berlin tax office).

  • Who is not eligible to apply?
    • Not eligible to apply are companies with an average annual turnover of more than EUR 10 million (2017-2019), all sectors not explicitly mentioned (e.g. galleries, event service providers, advertising, PR and digital agencies, manufacturers and rental of film equipment, etc.), as well as cultural and media companies with fewer than two employees.

      As a rule, theater and concert promoters with the following focuses are not eligible to apply:

      Concert and artist agency,
      touring and booking,
      artist management and placement,
      event promoters,
      full-service agency,
      trade fair,
      Exhibition and congress organizer,
      Performing arts service provider,
      music/record label,
      music production,
      network building,
      marketing,
      distribution,
      PR,
      promotion.

  • What costs are eligible?
    • Operating costs and commercial material and financial expenses such as

      • Commercial rent
      • Lease
      • Leasing expenses
      • Personnel costs for employees, including management, provided that these are not covered by short-time allowance and, in the case of management, do not exceed a certain amount (see FAQ section "To what extent can management salaries be taken into account in liquidity planning?")
      • A fictitious entrepreneur's salary in the amount of 1,180 euros per month per person for owners of sole proprietorships and partnerships
      • Repayment installments of business bank loans
      • Fee costs - the recommendations of the State of Berlin for lower fee limits, exhibition fees and reading fees and of the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg for the production of cinema films (feature films and documentaries) must be taken into account for fees in the liquidity plan

      Investment measures can only be funded if they are indispensable for the maintenance of the company until June 30, 2021.

  • How can I submit an application?
    • It is only possible to apply for Emergency Aid IV 4.0 in combination with Bridging Aid III. The list of industries that will have the opportunity to apply for Emergency Aid IV 4.0 following their application for Bridging Aid III can be found in the Emergency Aid IV 4.0 FAQ. If you are unable to apply for Bridging Aid III for your company, please describe the reasons via the IBB contact form. Companies in the cultural and media sector that have applied for Bridging Aid III will be informed by IBB about the possibility of applying for Emergency Aid IV 4.0. Within a set deadline, companies can express their interest in this directly. Subsequently, the expressions of interest will be checked for fulfillment of the application requirements, in particular the cultural relevance for the state of Berlin. This assessment is carried out by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe in the case of cultural companies, or by the Senate Chancellery in the case of media companies, on the basis of its dutiful discretion, with the assistance of specialist expertise. In order to calculate your liquidity needs in advance, please complete the liquidity planning and have the documents listed in the FAQ ready for the rest of the process.

  • What documents/details do I need for the application?
    • Please have the following information and documents ready for submission:

      Name, street, postal code, legal form, date of incorporation, registration number, tax number and turnover tax ID of the company, name of the tax office
      valid identification document, name, contact details, tax identification number of the owner / legal representative
      bank details of the company, which you have given to the tax office
      Liquidity planning (see downloads / form available from the beginning of March)
      Proof of the initial liquidity balance (e.g. bank statements)
      Documentation of loans to secure liquidity, if already applied for
      Business registration (if applicable)
      Annual financial statements for the last 3 years (BWA for 2019, if applicable)
      current BWA 2020
      Explanations of business circumstances (see Downloads / (form available from the beginning of March))
      KMU self-declaration (see downloads)
      Amount of small grants already applied for or received under other Corona emergency aid or Corona aid programs (federal and state funds)

  • Do I need to have applied for other aid programs in priority to Emergency Aid IV 4.0?
    • Yes, Emergency Aid IV 4.0 can only be applied for downstream via Bridging Aid III. In order to be able to apply for funds from Emergency Aid IV 4.0, an application for Bridging Aid III from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy must therefore first be submitted by your tax advisor by March 31, 2021. Please note that, in principle, funds from the federal aid programs must first be applied for and used. If your company does not qualify for these, you must be able to provide proof of this.

      Payments from the federal aid programs (Bridging Aid II, November/December Aid, Bridging Aid III) are continuously offset against Emergency Aid IV 4.0 for final processing. In the event of a remaining liquidity requirement, Emergency Aid IV 4.0 is to be paid out before the end of the funding period.

Restart Aid (Neustarthilfe) for solo self-employed

Applications for the Restart Aid (Neustarthilfe) can be submitted from the February 16 to  August 31, 2021.
 

  • Who is eligible to apply?
    • Eligible applicants are solo self-employed individuals who cannot otherwise claim fixed costs under Bridging Aid III and who earned at least 51% of their income from self-employment during the reference period (normally 2019).

      The full lump sum for operating costs will be granted if sales have decreased by more than 60% during the six-month period January 2021 through June 2021 compared to a six-month 2019 reference sales.

      Employees in the performing arts who are predominantly employed for short periods of up to 14 consecutive weeks can also be considered for Restart Aid.
      So-called non-permanent employees in all sectors as well as short-term employees in the performing arts can also apply for Restart Aid, provided they do not receive unemployment benefits or short-time work benefits. In this way, non-permanent actors and comparable employees are also effectively supported.

  • How much is the Restart Aid?
    • The lump sum for operating costs amounts to a one-time 50% of the reference turnover (turnover of the corresponding pre-crisis period in 2019), up to a maximum of 7,500 euros. (This is a taxable subsidy).

      To determine the 2019 reference turnover, the average monthly revenue for 2019 is used (reference monthly turnover). The reference turnover is six times this reference monthly turnover. Special rules apply to applicants who started their self-employed activity only after January 1, 2019.

      Example: With a turnover of 20,000 euros (average turnover in the artists' social insurance fund), 5,000 euros of Restart Aid is therefore paid (50 percent of the reference turnover for six months in 2019, 10,000 euros).

  • Self-employment started after October 1, 2019
    • A reference monthly turnover is then used here. This is the average monthly revenue of January and February 2020 or the average monthly revenue of the 3rd quarter of 2020 (July 1 to September 30, 2020).

  • Where is the application submitted and how does the payment work?
    • The progress payments and the application process will start in the month of February 2021.

      The lump sum for operating costs is paid out as an advance at the beginning of the term, even if the specific loss of sales during the term January 2021 to June 2021 has not yet been determined. If sales during the six-month term exceed 40 percent of the six-month reference sales, the advance payments are to be repaid on a pro rata basis.

      Solo self-employed persons applying for Restart Aid can apply directly (www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-unternehmen.de) using the ELSTER certificate familiar from the tax return.

  • Where can I find more information on Restart Aid?
    • The BMWI answers questions about direct applications for Restart Aid for solo self-employed persons via a hotline. The service desk for solo self-employed persons can be reached at the following number: 030-1200 21034 (service hours Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.).

      You can find more information on the pages of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
      A simple calculation of the Restart Aid is possible with the ver.di calculator (Excel document).

      Here is a step-by-step application completion guide.

The Bridging Aid, 3rd phase, (Überbrückungshilfe III)

  • What are the 3 phases of Bridging Aid?
    • The federal Bridging Aid is (so far) divided into three funding phases: Phase 1 (Bridging Aid I) ran from June to August 2020; Phase 2 (Bridging Aid II) ran from September to December 2020. Since February 2021 it is now possible to apply for federal grants in a third phase (Bridging Aid III); the funding period is between November 2020 and June 2021.

  • What is Bridging Aid III (Überbrückungshilfe III)?
    • Bridging Aid III will support companies, solo self-employed and freelancers in all sectors with annual sales of up to €750 million that experience a drop in sales of at least 30 percent in the period from November 2020 to June 2021 compared to the reference month in 2019. Applications are submitted through reviewing third parties. Bridging Aid III is the follow-up program to Bridging Aid II.

  • Who is eligible to apply?
    • Uniform criterion for eligibility to apply: All companies with more than a 30 percent drop in sales are eligible to receive the tiered fixed cost reimbursement under Bridging Aid III.

  • Who is not eligible to apply?
    • The following companies are explicitly not eligible to apply (exclusion criteria):

      • Companies that are not registered with a German tax office,
      • Companies without a domestic permanent establishment or registered office,
      • Companies that were already in (economic) difficulties as of December 31, 2019 (EU definition) and have not overcome this status thereafter,
      • Companies that were only established after April 30, 2020,
      • Public companies,
      • Companies with more than 750 million euros in annual sales in 2020 and
      • Freelancers or solo self-employed persons in sideline business.

      For more information on the exclusion criteria, see point 1.1 of the FAQ of the Bridging Aid III.

  • What is the amount of the Bridging Aid III grant?
    • Bridging Aid III reimburses a share amounting to

      • Up to 90 % of the eligible fixed costs in the event of a drop in sales > 70 %.
      • Up to 60 % of the eligible fixed costs in the event of a drop in sales of ≥ 50 % and ≤ 70 %.
      • Up to 40 % of the eligible fixed costs in the event of a drop in sales ≥ 30 % and < 50 %.

      in the eligible month compared to the corresponding month in 2019.

  • What is the difference to Bridging Aid II?
    • In the future, costs for structural modernization, renovation and conversion measures to implement hygiene concepts, as well as investments in digitization (e.g., setting up or expanding an online store, entry costs for major platforms) can also be claimed up to 20,000 euros.

      For these areas, costs incurred outside the funding period are now also taken into account. Specifically, appropriate costs of up to 20,000 euros per month or, in the case of investments in digitization, one-off costs incurred in the period from March 2020 to June 2021 will be reimbursed accordingly.

      Depreciation of assets of up to 50 percent is recognized as eligible costs. For example, a showman who has bought his carousel and financed it with a loan or from his own capital can deduct half of the monthly depreciation as a cost. This helps the carny industry in particular, but also companies in the event sector and bus tourism.

      A special regulation for retailers will be introduced for perishable goods and for seasonal goods for the 2020/2021 winter season. This affects, for example, Christmas items, fireworks and winter clothing. But it also affects perishable goods that become unusable if they could not be sold. Under certain conditions, retailers can deduct up to 100 percent of their merchandise write-offs as fixed costs.

      In addition, marketing and advertising costs are eligible for a maximum of the corresponding expenses in 2019.

      Additional costs are recognized for industries particularly affected by the Corona crisis. This concerns solo self-employed persons, the travel industry (travel agencies and tour operators), the culture and events industry, and the pyrotechnics industry.


      Solo self-employed:

      • the current reimbursement of fixed costs will be supplemented by a one-time lump sum for operating costs ("Restart Aid").

      As an alternative to the reimbursement of fixed costs for the period December 2020 to June 2021, solo self-employed persons can receive a one-time lump sum for operating costs, the so-called "Restart Aid" (Neustarthilfe), in the amount of up to 50 percent of the 2019 reference turnover up to a maximum of 7,500 euros (for more information, see the explanations on the Restart Aid).

      • The Restart Aid does not have to be offset against benefits from the basic income support.


      Culture and event industry:

      • If events had to be cancelled due to Corona, their cancellation and preparation costs can also be claimed retroactively for the period March to December 2020 as part of Bridging Aid III, in addition to the other eligible costs.

      o Both internal project-related costs (primarily personnel expenses) and external costs (such as costs for commissioned third parties, e.g. graphic designers) are eligible.
      o These special costs of the past months will not be counted towards the otherwise applicable maximum funding limit up to 200,000 euros per month of the period March to December 2020.

      • A special fund for cultural events is also to be created - outside of Bridging Aid III - which is to provide a profitability bonus for Corona-related low-frequented cultural events such as concerts, festivals and theater performances.

      o Hybrid cultural events, which are offered in both presence form and online, are also to benefit from this in particular.
      o As part of the special fund, there is to be a kind of failsafe for cultural events that are planned for the period from summer 2021, but then later have to be canceled due to Corona, contrary to the plans.
      o The details of this special fund are currently being worked out. It will complement the NEUSTART KULTUR program launched as part of the economic stimulus package, which has already made one billion euros available for the cultural sector.

  • Which costs are eligible?
    • Eligible costs are ongoing, contractually justified or officially determined fixed operating costs incurred during the funding period. (See the detailed explanations under point 2.4. of the FAQ of Bridging Aid III).

  • Are private living expenses eligible?
    • No, costs of private living such as rent or interest payments for private housing (with the exception of (pro rata) costs for a study if this has already been claimed for tax purposes in 2019), health insurance contributions, and contributions to private pension plans are not covered by the Bridging Aid.

      Entrepreneurial wages are not eligible.

  • Can I apply for Bridging Aid III and Restart Aid for solo self-employed persons?
    • The Restart Aid is an independent program under the 3rd phase of the federal Bridging Aid (Bridging Aid III). Therefore, solo self-employed persons can either claim the Restart Aid or the reimbursement of fixed costs under the Bridging Aid III. It is not possible to claim both subsidies:

      • Solo self-employed persons who have applied for or received the Bridging Aid III are thus not eligible to apply for the Restart Aid.

      • Solo self-employed persons who have applied for or received the Restart Aid cannot apply for reimbursement of fixed costs under the Bridging Aid III.

  • Is there an application deadline?
    • The application can be submitted until August 31, 2021. An application can only be submitted once. Amendments are excluded from this.

  • Where can I find more information?
    • Here you can find further information on Bridging Aid III. In addition, on February 16, 2021, Berlin Partner and the IHK Berlin collaborated with Dr. Michael Knieß (Head of Regional Structural Policy, Economic Promotion of the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Enterprises), Matthias Steger (Member of the Board of the Brandenburg Chamber of Tax Advisors and the Berlin-Brandenburg Association of Tax Advisors) and Eike Schmaida (Chief Digital Officer, Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) in offering a digital information event followed by a question and answer session on Bridging Aid III, which is available as a video.

Extraordinary Economic December Corona Aid (Dezemberhilfe)

Applications for the December Aid can be submitted from the December 23, 2020 to  April 30, 2021.

  • What is the December Aid?
    • The December Aid is a federal grant program. Companies, businesses, self-employed people, associations and institutions affected by the temporary closure are to receive grants of 75 percent of the average weekly turnover in December 2019 for each week of the closure.

  • Who can apply for the December Aid?
    • Companies of all sizes (including public and non-profit), self-employed people, associations and institutions, self-employed members of the liberal professions in the main occupation of all industries are eligible to apply whose economic activity is affected by the corona-related lockdown in November and December 2020 in one of the following ways:

      - Directly affected in December: companies and self-employed people who had to cease business operations in November due to the state government and federal states' resolution of October 28, 2020 and based on the federal and state government resolutions of November 25, 2020 and from December 2, 2020 were still affected by these closings in December. This does not include regional closures of industries or institutions that are not mentioned in these resolutions, as well as closings based on later resolutions (e.g. the federal-state resolution of December 13, 2020).

      - Indirectly affected: Companies and self-employed people who can be shown and regularly generate at least 80 percent of their sales with companies directly affected by the above measures.

      - Affected by third parties: Companies and self-employed people who regularly generate at least 80 percent of their sales through deliveries and services on behalf of companies directly affected by the measures via third parties (e.g. event agencies). These applicants must prove beyond any doubt that they will suffer a drop in sales of more than 80 percent compared to the comparable sales in December 2020 due to the closure ordinances.

  • Who is not eligible to apply for December Aid?
    • Companies, businesses, self-employed people, associations and institutions that did not have to cease their business due to the decision of the federal government and the states are not eligible to apply for December aid. In addition, those who generate less than 80 percent of their sales with companies directly affected by the closure measures are not eligible to apply.

  • How much is the December Aid?
    • For each week of closure, 75 percent of the average weekly turnover in December 2019 is granted as a subsidy. The maximum amount of the advance payments has been increased to EUR 50,000. Other government benefits, such as the bridging aid (Überbrückungshilfe) will count towards the November aid. Repayable KfW loans, on the other hand, are not.
      As an alternative to the weekly turnover in December 2019, self-employed people who had no turnover in December 2019 can use the average weekly turnover in 2019 as a basis.
      Companies, businesses, the self-employed people, associations and institutions that started their business after December 31, 2019 can use their monthly sales in October 2020 or the monthly net average sales (up to October 31, 2020) as an alternative to the weekly turnover in December 2019.

  • How can I apply for December Aid?
    • Applications can only be submitted online by tax consultants, auditors, sworn accountants or lawyers. Applications can be made through this website.
      Self-employed people can apply for a funding of up to a maximum of EUR 5,000 here and therefore do not need tax consultants, auditors, sworn auditors or lawyers.

Extraordinary Economic November Corona Aid (Novemberhilfe)

Applications for November Aid can be submitted from November 25, 2020 to April 30, 2021. 

  • What is the November Aid?
    • The November Aid is a federal grant program and is expected to have a financial volume of around 10 billion EUR. Companies, businesses, self-employed people, associations and institutions affected by the temporary closure are to receive grants of 75 percent of the average weekly turnover in November 2019 for each week of the closure.

  • Who can apply?
    • The Federal November Aid is aimed for companies, businesses, self-employed people, associations and institutions that are affected by the temporary closings and had to stop business operations on 28th October 2020 due to the decision of the Federal Government and the states. However, you are also eligible to apply if you are only indirectly affected by the closings, but are still unable to carry out your business directly in November.

  • Who is not eligible to apply?
    • Companies, businesses, self-employed persons, associations and institutions that did not have to stop their business operations on the 28th October 2020 due to the decision of the federal and state governments are not eligible to apply. In addition, if you generate less than 80 percent of your sales with companies directly affected by the closure measures you are not eligible to apply.

  • How much is the grant?
    • For each week of closure, 75 percent of the average weekly turnover in November 2019 is granted as a subsidy. The November aid is granted up to an upper limit of 1 million EUR, provided that the company's existing scope under state aid law allows it (EU small aid scheme). Other government benefits, such as the bridging aid will count towards the November aid. Repayable KfW loans, on the other hand, are not. As an alternative to the weekly turnover in November 2019, self-employed persons who had no turnover in November 2019 can use the average weekly turnover in 2019 as a basis. If business operations started after the 31st October 2019 you can use the average weekly turnover in October 2020 or the average weekly turnover since the establishment as a comparison.

  • How can I apply?
    • Applications can only be submitted online by tax consultants, auditors, sworn accountants or lawyers.
      If you are self-employed and want to apply for a maximum funding rate of 5,000 EUR you do not need a tax advisor, auditor, sworn accountant or lawyer. Apply here.

Bridging Aid, 2nd phase (Überbrückungshilfe II)

Applications can be submitted from October 20, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

  • What kind of program is the Überbrückungshilfe II?
    • The Überbrückungshilfe II is the second phase of a federal program with a total volume of 25 billion euros that provides grants to companies and self-employed people in every sector. In the event of a drop in sales due to corona, the fixed operating costs for the months of September to December 2020 will be partially reimbursed.

  • Who is eligible to apply?
    • Companies, institutions and self-employed people who have either suffered a drop in sales of at least 50 percent in two consecutive months in the period April to August 2020 compared to the same months in the previous year, or who have an overall average drop in sales of at least 30 percent per month in the same period.

  • Who is not eligible to apply?
    • Not eligible to apply is who:
      - is not registered with a German tax office.
      - does not have a domestic permanent establishment.
      - was in economic difficulties as of 31st of December 2019.
      - was founded after 31st of October 2019
      - is a public enterprise.
      - has access to the Economic Stabilisation Fund.
      - is a freelancer on a sideline basis.
      - has an annual turnover of at least 750 million euros.

  • How much is the grant?
    • The aid can be used for max. four months (September - December 2020). The exact funding amount is calculated using the sales slump in the months April to August 2020 as follows:
      • Over 70 percent decline in sales: reimbursement of 90 percent of the eligible fixed costs
      • Between 70 and 50 percent decline in sales: reimbursement of 60 percent of the eligible fixed costs
      • Between 30 percent and less than 50 percent decline in sales: reimbursement of 40 percent of the eligible fixed costs

      The calculation is made for each month individually. The maximum funding per month is 50,000 EUR.

  • Should I apply?
    • The IHK offers an online calculator that determines the decline in sales and thus tells you whether the application makes sense for you. The information provided by the computer is not legally binding.

  • Are private expenses eligible?
    • No, private costs such as rent, health insurance or company wages are not eligible. For these costs, there is a simplified access to basic security (Grundsicherung) until December 31, 2020.

  • What costs are eligible?
    • Only company fixed costs can be funded whose due date is within the funding period (including contractually agreed down payments).
      The eligible costs include amongst other:
      1. Commercial rents and leases as well as domestic work rooms, if these were already tax deductible in 2019.
      2. Company rental costs for vehicles and machines
      3. Expenses for necessary maintenance, servicing or storage of fixed assets and rented and leased assets, including IT
      4. Expenses for electricity, water, heating, cleaning and hygiene measures
      5. Property taxes
      6. Operating License Fees
      7. Insurance, subscriptions and other fixed expenses
      8. Costs for tax consultants, auditors or sworn accountants that are part of the application for the Überbrückungshilfe II
      9. Costs for trainees

Digital Allowance (Digitalprämie)

Applications can be submitted from November 2, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

  • What is Digital Allowance?
    • The Digital Allowance is an economic development program with a total volume of 80 million EUR for the State of Berlin to actively support the ongoing digitization process of Berlin's medium-sized companies.

  • Who is eligible to apply?
    • Small and medium-sized companies with up to 249 employees and their headquarters or permanent establishment in Berlin as well as self-employed people and freelancers in their main occupation without employees (with at least EUR 26,000 income / year from their current activity). The establishment must have taken place before December 31, 2019.

  • Who is not eligible to apply?
    • Companies that do not have a registered office or a permanent establishment in Berlin and have more than 250 employees. Solo self-employed people as part-time jobbers and self-employed people who earn less than EUR 26,000 in income per year from their current activity and those who are founded after December 31, 2019.

  • How much is the grant?
    • Self-employed people and small and medium-sized enterprises with up to 10 employees can receive a grant of up to EUR 7,000. Small and medium-sized companies with 10 up to 249 employees can receive a grant of up to EUR 17,000.

  • Which costs are eligible?
    • Funding grants for external material expenses are received in the following areas:

      Digital work, production and management processes:
      • Acquisition of a CAM system
      • Digital inventory control system
      • Digital POS system
      • Company-related internet of things platform
      • Digital timekeeping recording
      • Digital payroll accounting

      Introduction or improvement of IT security:
      • IT security infrastructure
      • Digital data storage and backup
      • Digital business premises security
      • Penetration test of IT systems and certification

      Digital advice and qualification:
      • Advice on implementation
      • Workshop on the digitization of the business model
      • Further training in corporate IT security
      • Training as a data scientist
      The training providers must prove their qualification through certification according to ISO 27001, accreditation according to AZAV 18 or an authorization within the framework of the federal funding program "go-digital".

Corona Aid (Coronahilfen) for start-ups

  • What is the Corona aid for start-ups?
    • With the Corona aid for start-ups, the State of Berlin supports young companies during the Corona crisis. A total of 140 million euros are available for the program; 100 million euros come from funds of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and 40 million euros from funds of the Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB).

  • Who is the program for?
    • Eligible for application are start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises in Berlin that were founded before 11.03.2020 and were not in financial difficulty before 31.12.2019. Furthermore, the companies must not be older than seven years.

  • How does the program work?
    • The program pays out liquidity support of up to 800,000 euros to young companies. The federal government takes over 70 percent of the risk, Berlin takes over 30 percent of the risk. The program offers various financing options: the assistance can be applied via the IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH or through private venture capitalists (intermediaries). Both variants involve the granting of open participations, dormant holdings and convertible loans, in which initial loans can only be converted into a participation at a later date. Thus, the start-up has the choice: the loan can be repaid within two years or transferred to a longer-term financing partnership. The funds can be used to support existing or new equity investments. The intermediaries receive the refinancing funds from IBB interest-free over a period of 10 years. Further financing options are planned from mid-August. 

 


 

Expired Corona Aids

The application period for the "Corona Überbrückungshilfe I" were from 10th July to 30th September 2020. 
The applications for the Emergency Relief Programme II  were available until May 31, 2020, 23:59.
The Emergency Relief Programme IV 1.0 has been closed on May 15, 2020.
The Emergency Relief Programme IV 2.0 has been closed on September 4, 2020.
The Emergency Relief Programme IV 3.0 has been closed on November 20, 2020.

Corona Bridging Aid (Überbrückungshilfe)

  • What kind of program is the “Überbrückungshilfe“?
    • The „Überbrückungshilfe“ is a federal program with a total volume of 25 billion euros that provides grants to companies in every sector for the months of June, July and August 2020. The application period runs from 10 July to 30 September 2020.

  • Who is eligible to apply?
    • Small and medium-sized enterprises, solo self-employed persons, self-employed persons in the liberal professions in their main occupation as well as non-profit organisations that are economically active on the market on a permanent basis are eligible to apply. In addition, the program assumes an average drop in turnover of at least 60 percent in the months of April and May 2020 compared to the same months of the previous year. For companies founded between June 1, 2019 and October 31, 2019, the slump in turnover is compared with the months December 2019 to February 2020.

  • Who is not eligible to apply?
    • Not eligible to apply is who:

      - is not registered with a German tax office.
      - does not have a domestic permanent establishment.
      - was in economic difficulties as of 31st of December 2019.
      - was founded after 31st of October 2019
      - is a public enterprise.
      - has access to the Economic Stabilisation Fund.
      - is a freelancer on a sideline basis.
      - has an annual turnover of at least 750 million euros.
       

  • How much is the "Überbrückungshilfe"?
    • The “Überbrückungshilfe“ can be paid off for a maximum of three months (June, July, August). The exact amount of the subsidy is calculated as follows on the basis of the slump in revenue in the months of April, May 2019.

      •    In the event of a slump in revenue of up to 70 percent: reimbursement of 80 percent of the eligible fixed costs.
      •    In the event of a slump in revenue of between 70 and 50 percent: reimbursement of 50 percent of the eligible fixed costs
      •    In the event of a slump in revenue of between 40 and 50 percent: reimbursement of 40 percent of eligible fixed costs. 

      The calculation is made for each month individually. The maximum subsidy amount per month is 50,000 euros for companies, 3,000 euros for companies with up to five employees and 5,000 euros for companies with up to ten employees.
       

  • What costs are eligible?
    • Eligible costs include the following:

      1.    Commercial rents and leases and domestic workspace, if these were already tax deductible in 2019.
      2.    Business rental costs for vehicles and machinery 
      3.    Interest expenses for credits and loans (no repayment rate)
      4.    Share of financing costs of leasing rates
      5.    Expenditure on necessary servicing, maintenance or storage of fixed assets and rented or leased assets, including IT
      6.    Expenditure on electricity, water, heating, cleaning and hygiene measures
      7.    Property taxes
      8.    Operating licence fees
      9.    Insurance, subscriptions and other fixed expenses
      10.    Costs for tax consultants, auditors or sworn auditors incurred in connection with the application for Corona “Überbrückungshilfe“
      11.    Costs for trainees
      12.    Personnel costs [Note: Personnel costs are taken into account at a flat rate of 10 percent of the fixed costs in points 1 to 10 of this table].
      13.    Commissions refunded or not paid to travel agents or margins for tour operators for package tours which are
      •    booked before 18 March 2020, 
      •    cancelled since 18 March 2020 in connection with Corona-related travel warnings of the Federal Foreign Office or domestic German travel bans or temporary border closures (withdrawal from travel contract) 
      and
      •    which would have been taken up by travellers by 31 August 2020.
       

  • Are private living costs eligible?
    • No, private costs such as rent, health insurance or salaries for entrepreneurs are not eligible. For these costs, there is a simplified access to basic provision until 30 September 2020.

  • How does the application procedure work?
    • The application is made with the help of a tax consultant, auditor or licensed accountant. The auditor calculates the slump in turnover before the application is submitted and subsequently makes a final statement of the actual slump in turnover.

  • Is there a deadline for applications?
    • The application deadline is 31 August 2020 and the payment deadline is 30 November 2020. The application can only be submitted once.
      Retroactive applications for the months of June, July and August are possible, but not later than 30 September 2020.
       

Emergency Aid Corona (previously called Soforthilfe II)

The IBB is writing to recipients since December 2020. The bank is asking the recipients to compare the funds they have got to their actual needs. More Information is found here on the IBB Website. 

  • Where can you find an overview of state and federal funds?
    • From March 27th to April 1st (12:00), applications for state subsidies (blanked amount of 5,000 €) and grants for operating costs from federal funds could be submitted via the program Soforthilfe II. Since April 6th, only federal funds can be applied for via the program Soforthilfe II.

      An overview of both grants with information on eligibility, application period and possible uses of the grants can be found here.

  • What information is required for the application?
    • For companies: General company data: Legal form*, name*, date of foundation*, website, registration number (e.g. commercial register number), branch of industry*, company address*, number of employees* (full-time equivalents, excl. trainees and 450€ employees)  

      For solo self-employed and freelancers: details of the owner/legal representative: Name*, contact* (telephone and e-mail), tax ID*, identity card or passport* (the last five digits of the ID number)

      Bank details of the company or the self-employed person: Account holder*, International Bank Account Number (IBAN)* A German account must be specified here!

      * This information is mandatory.

  • Where do you find the application form?
    • The Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) is responsible for implementing, auditing and distributing the money on behalf of the Land of Berlin. The application for Soforthilfe II can only be made online. It is not necessary to log into the IBB's customer portal. Applications by mail are not permitted. Only one application is necessary to apply for state and federal funding.

  • Who is eligible to apply?
    • The application generally refers to solo self-employed and freelancers. This also includes actresses, dancers, artists, musicians, performers, museum guides and all those who earn their living with art and culture. So, you are explicitly entitled to apply! And even small and micro-enterprises with up to ten employees or up to five employees (see under "How much money will you get?") can submit an application.

      Important: The company headquarters or self-employment must be registered in Berlin. However, citizenship is irrelevant for the application.

  • How much money will you get?
    • Freelancers and micro-enterprises with up to five employees (full-time equivalents possible) can apply for 9,000 € (federal funding) per application. 

      Small companies with more than five and up to ten employees (full-time equivalents possible) can submit up to 15,000 € (federal funding) per application.

  • Who is counted as an employee or worker?
    • Part-time employees can be converted into full-time employees (full-time equivalents). Trainees and employees on a 450-euro basis can also be converted into full-time employees.

      Fee-based employees do not count as employed.

  • What is the money for?
    • It is important to know, if you recieved the federal fund, the state fund or both of them.

      The Corona grant from state funds is intendet to cover the cost of living, entrepreneur's salary and current personal and financial expenses.

      The Corona grant from federal funds can be used for operating costs and commercial material and financial expenses such as:

      - commercial rents
      - Lease expenses
      - business telecommunications expenses
      - running costs for providers, domains, webspaces etc. and maintenance costs
      - staff costs for employees, if not covered by the short-time working allowance (Since 20th of April 2020, salaries of employees may no longer be financed from federal funds.)

      Managing director salaries, private withdrawals or the compensation of loss of turnover and fees for personal living expenses, health insurance contributions etc. are not included. On the other hand, the "social protection package" adopted on 27th March 2020 opens up access to basic provision for six months at much easier conditions.

  • How do you document your Corona-related, existence-threatening economic situation? Do you have to collect and submit receipts?
    • In the application for the Soforthilfe of 5,000 € you declare your economic plight and affirm in lieu of oath that all information given is true to the best of your knowledge and belief. You do not have to submit any receipts or documents. As outlined, we are all in crisis, honesty strengthens solidarity. As already mentioned above, it can be checked retrospectively. Accordingly, you should be able to make your existentially threatening state of emergency credible retrospectively. It is therefore advisable to keep appropriate evidence for later verification (such as contract cancellations, email communication regarding cancelled performances or official orders etc.).

  • Do you have to pay taxes on the Soforthilfe?
    • The Corona grant (Soforthilfe II) from federal and Land funds (paid out in Berlin by the IBB) is to be recorded as operating income in the determination of profits. This subsidy is taken into account in the assessment of income or corporation tax with an effect on profits. This only has an effect when the tax return for 2020 has to be submitted, i.e. next year at the earliest. Only if a positive profit was generated in 2020 will the individual tax rate be due on the subsidy.

       

  • When will you get your money?
    • The IBB endeavours to transfer the money within three days of the application. However, there have also been reports of transfers within a few hours after successful application.

Emergency Aid IV (Soforthilfe IV) (application period from 11th to 15th May 2020)

  • What is Emergency Aid IV and to whom is it directed?
    • The Emergency Aid IV is aimed at cultural and media companies affected by the Corona crisis, usually with more than 10 employees. These companies can apply for grants of up to EUR 25,000 to overcome an economic situation that threatens their existence. In justified exceptional cases even up to EUR 500,000 can be applied for. All further information can be found here.

  • How do we, the Advisory Centre for Cultural Promotion and Creative Industries (Kreativ Kultur Berlin), advise on the Emergency Aid IV?
    • We are partners of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the IBB and support the information and consulting process. We are available for questions that go beyond the FAQ catalogue via the IBB contact form. On the one hand, we answer your questions about the application process. On the other hand, we collect questions that are still missing in the IBB's FAQ and forward them for professional answers - so that they can be included in the IBB's FAQ. In addition, we inform the individual branches and sectors of the culture and creative industries about our networks.

Emergency Aid IV 2.0 (Soforthilfe IV 2.0)

Applications could be submitted from August 31 to September 4th, 2020.
As part of the new Soforthilfe IV 2.0, Kreativ Kultur Berlin is the official consulting partner and answers questions that go beyond the IBB's FAQ catalog through the IBB contact form (even after the application deadline, September 4th).

  • How much is the grant?
    • Companies can apply for grants of up to EUR 25,000 to overcome an economic situation that is threatening their existence. In justified exceptional cases, you can even apply for up to EUR 500,000 (maximum amount).
      You can find all further information here.

  • Which documents / information are needed for the application?
    • • Number of full-time equivalent employees
      • Industry of the company / institution
      • Legal form, name, date of establishment, website, registration number, tax number and VAT ID of the company / institution
      • Brief description of the content and explanation of the cultural relevance of the company / institution (max. 510 characters each)
      • The following sales figures: average annual sales 2017 - 2019, annual sales 2019, monthly sales May, June and July 2020
      • Address of the company or the Berlin branch
      • The company's bank details, which are registered with the tax office
      • Information on the owner / legal representative: Valid identification document, name, contact details, tax identification number, email address, telephone number
      • Liquidity planning over the next three months (by November 30, 2020 based on the initial level of liquidity) including personnel costs
      • Amount of small grants already applied for or received in the context of other Corona emergency aid or Corona aid programs (federal and state funds)

  • Do I have to apply for other help programs first?
    • It is important that applicants have used all relevant aid measures provided by the federal government and the state. In particular, it is a prerequisite for Soforthilfe IV 2.0 that, if possible, Überbrückungshilfe (federal bridging aid) is used.

  • How do we, Kreativ Kultur Berlin, advise on Soforthilfe IV 2.0?
    • We, the Advisory Center Kreativ Kultur Berlin of Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH, support in this context with our advisors from the Kulturförderpunkt Berlin and the Kreativwirtschaftsberatung Berlin as an official partner of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, the Governing Mayor of Berlin - Senate Chancellery and the Berlin Investment Bank Advisory process on the application process. Our colleagues can now be reached using the IBB contact form.

Emergency Aid IV 3.0 (Soforthilfe IV 3.0)

Applications can be submitted from November 11th to November 20th, 2020.

  • What is Soforthilfe IV 3.0?
    • Soforthilfe IV 3.0 is a grant program from the State of Berlin and is aimed at cultural and media companies affected by the Corona crisis. The grant is intended to help the respective companies to cover operating costs and gainful material and financial expenses for the months of December 2020, January and February 2021.

  • Who can apply?
    • Cultural and media companies affected by the Corona crisis with usually at least two employees who are not regularly or predominantly publicly funded and have their headquarters or operating facility (s) in Berlin. In addition, relevance for Berlin's cultural life must be proven.

  • Who is not eligible to apply?
    • Companies with an average annual turnover of more than EUR 10 million within the past three years, all sectors not explicitly named, e.g. Galleries, event service providers, advertising, PR and digital agencies, manufacturers and rental of film equipment, etc. as well as cultural and media companies with fewer than two employees.

  • How much is the grant?
    • Companies can apply for grants of up to EUR 25,000 to overcome an economic situation that is threatening their very existence. In justified exceptional cases, you can even apply for up to EUR 500,000 (maximum amount).

  • Which costs are eligible?
    • Operating costs and commercial material and financial expenses such as
      • Commercial rent
      • Lease
      • Leasing expenses
      • Personnel costs for employees including management, provided these are not covered by the short-time work allowance and in
          the case of management do not exceed a certain amount

  • Which documents / information do I need for the application?
    • • Number of full-time equivalent employees
      • Branch of the company / institution
      • Legal form, name, date of establishment, website, registration number, tax number and VAT ID of the company / institution
      • Brief description of the content and explanation of the cultural relevance of the company / institution (max. 510 characters each)
      • The following sales figures: average annual sales 2017 - 2019, annual sales 2019, monthly sales January to October 2020
      • Address of the company
      • The company's bank details, which are registered with the tax office
      • Information on the owner / legal representative: Valid identification document, name, contact details, tax identification number, email address, telephone number
      • Liquidity planning over the next three months (until 02/28/2021 based on the initial level of liquidity) including personnel costs
      • Amount of small grants already applied for or received in the context of other Corona emergency aid or Corona aid programs (federal and state funds), including Überbrückungshilfe from the federal government (Federal Ministry of Economics)
      • Explanation of the current business situation (use of the form, PDF as download)
      • Proof of the initial level of liquidity (e.g. bank statements)
      • Proof of application or preliminary examination of Überbrückungshilfe

Emergency Aid X (Soforthilfe X)

The state's grant program for non-profit organizations and associations.
Applications for Soforthilfe X can be submitted from October 1st, 2020 to October 25th, 2020.

  • What is Soforthilfe X and who is it aimed at?
    • It is aimed at non-profit, benevolent or church associations and organizations affected by the corona crisis. The grant is intended to cover liabilities that arose between March 17, 2020 and September 30, 2020. Associations and organizations that are tax-privileged, that work with volunteers, that are not fully institutionally funded and that are based in Berlin are eligible to apply. Organizations and clubs that have received funding from the rescue fund of Berlin Sports (Landessportbund) or from the Soforthilfe IV (1.0 and 2.0) of the State of Berlin are not eligible to apply.

  • How much is the grant?
    • The maximum funding amount in the first phase is EUR 20,000. In the second phase, organizations can receive a grant of EUR 20,000 if funds are still available after the first phase. A total of EUR 4.9 million is to be awarded.

  • Which costs are eligible?
    • The grant is intended to cover ongoing operating costs (such as rental and ancillary costs), personnel costs and other expenses that could not be canceled or reduced during the calculation period (March 17, 2020 - September 30, 2020). Investment measures can only be funded if they are indispensable for maintaining the organization by September 30, 2020.

  • Which documents / information are needed for the application?
    • • Legal form, name, date of establishment, Berlin address, website, registration number, tax number and, if applicable, sales tax ID of the organization
      • Bank details of the organization registered with the tax office
      • Number of employees (given in full-time equivalent)
      • Number of volunteers (indication of the total number of people)
      • Main area of activity of the organization
      • Brief description of the content of the organization's activities (2019 and 2020)
      • Brief description of the organization's activities that were planned for 2020 but could not be implemented
      • Declaration on the role of civic engagement in the organization (max. 520 characters each)
      • Indication of all actual expenses between March 17th, 2020 and September 30th, 2020 (summarized in super-categories)
      • Indication of all actual income between March 17th, 2020 and September 30th, 2020 (summarized in super-categories)
      • Initial level of liquidity as of March 17, 2020 (including evidence, e.g. through account statements)
      • Information on the legal representative (s): valid identification document, contact details, tax identification number
      • Amount of small grants already applied for or received in the context of other Corona Soforthilfe or Corona aid programs (federal and state funds), including Überbrückungshilfe from the federal government (Federal Ministry of Economics)
      • Documents to prove the information

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