Germany: $54Bn For Small Businesses And Self-Employed In Culture

Almost empty Pariser Platz by the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, March 19, 2020.
Maja Hitij/Getty Images
– Almost empty Pariser Platz by the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, March 19, 2020.
Everyday life in Germany has become fundamentally altered as authorities tighten measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Public venues such as bars, clubs, museums, cinemas, schools, daycare centers and universities have closed. Many businesses are resorting to home office work for their employees. And travel across the border to most neighbouring countries is severely restricted.

Of the $610 billion cash injection for Germany’s economy announced last week, some $54 billion will go towards small businesses, independents and freelancers working in the cultural sectors.
The German government’s commissioner for culture and media, Monika Grütters, said in an interview with radio station BR Klassik, that her department was working on making sure that there was no long-term and irreparable damage done to the country’s cultural sector.
The promised $54 billion for small businesses and the self-employed are intended to cover operating costs such as rent, loans related to the business premises, leases etc. 
Small businesses with up to five employees, for instance, will receive up to €9,000 ($9,750) for three months. Businesses with up to 10 employees receive €15,000 ($16,200).
The state bank KfW will also loosen its conditions to access credits, as well as the credits’ terms, to help small business and self-employed professionals with their liquidity. 
The ministry points out that these are credits, not grants.
Prof. Monika Grütters
Deutscher Bundestag/Lichtblick/Achim Melde
– Prof. Monika Grütters
Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media

Creatives that are insured through Germany’s social insurance for artists, which promised to amend its premiums accordingly.

Self-employed professionals and freelancers, who are not allowed to work during the lockdown, are eligible for damages.
Those affected by the Coronavirus can also apply for tax deferrals. Any payments due may be pushed back to December, the government will refrain from  collecting penalties for late filing during this period.
In a move that should come as a relief to Germany’s club scene in particular,  the government has suspended the responsibility for small businesses to file their insolvency petition.
A lot of small business had prematurely filed for bankruptcy in the past weeks, as this used to be the only way to make sure that they wouldn’t be held liable by ancillary business partners in the case of event cancellations. 
More flexibility has also been promised with regards to rental agreements, which includes restrictions to the landlord’s right of termination.