The first measures introduced by the Austrian government are focused on SMEs, sole proprietors and the tourism industry. Please note that guarantees will also be extended to larger companies; it is not yet known when and under which conditions such extensions will be carried out.
1.1 Hardship fund for sole proprietors
Sole proprietors, new self-employed individuals pursuant to Austrian social security law, freelancers and micro-entrepreneurs (less than 10 employees) are entitled to direct financial subsidies, provided they meet the requirements.
1.2 AWS Bridging Financing Guarantees for SMEs
The Austria Economic Services (Austria Wirtschaftsservice, AWS) provides guarantees as security for bridging loans to “healthy” commercial and industrial SMEs (companies with less than 250 employees, maximum EUR 50 million turnover or EUR 43 million balance sheet total) to cover running costs e.g. rent, personnel costs, purchase of goods, insurance and leasing instalments.:
- guarantees are applied for by the lending bank and are only available for loans up to EUR 2.5 million with a term of five (5) years
- a guarantee secures 80% of a bridging loan.
1.3 Bridging Guarantees for SMEs in the Hotel and Tourism sectors
The Austrian Tourism Bank (Österreichische Tourismus Bank, ÖHT) provides guarantees as security for bridging loans for SMEs in the hotel and tourism sector:
- ÖHT grants the applying companies a federal guarantee of 80% as collateral for new bridging loans (overdraft facilities) at their house banks
- guarantee amounts range from EUR 100,000 to EUR 4 million.
1.4 Credit lines for export companies
The Austrian Control Bank (Österreichische Kontrollbank, ÖKB) provides credit lines (overdraft facilities) to export companies of 10% (large companies) or 15% (small- and medium-sized enterprises) of their export turnover. The funds provided amount to EUR 2 billion:
- maximum limit per debtor is EUR 60 million
- existing export activity is a requirement to receive credit
- no additional securities required other than proof that the company was economically sound until the start of the effects of COVID-19 in Austria.
The revolving loans are primarily intended to secure the location and continue the operations of the exporters. The financing is initially limited to two (2) years with the possibility of extending it thereafter. The costs are based on the Kontrollbank refinancing framework (KRR).