During these challenging times, GetYourGuide teams around the world are still working hard for you. We’ll continue to keep you informed and pinpoint opportunities to help you build a stronger foundation for an inevitable future tourism upswing.

In the last few weeks, governments around the world have started assistance programs to support businesses. 

To keep you up-to-date, we’ve compiled the latest information from several government programs to provide an overview of the assistance you can benefit from.

*Disclaimer* If your country is not currently included, do not worry. We’ll update the page on a regular basis. Additionally, we advise you to check the official government websites for details on how these programs can specifically apply to you.

Australia

The Australian Government has enacted measures to support Australian businesses with managing cash flow challenges and retaining employees. Assistance includes cash flow support to businesses and temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses.

The full details are listed here: https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses 

Here is what we think is important for you to know: 

Boosting cash flow for employers

Who can benefit from this measure? Small to medium sized business and entities with aggregated annual revenue under $50 million that employ workers are eligible. Not‑for‑profit entities (NFPs), including charities, with aggregated annual revenue under $50 million that employ workers are also eligible. 

Eligibility will generally be based on the prior year’s revenue.

How does it work? Eligible businesses will receive a payment equal to 100% of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $50,000.

How to apply? You don’t need to apply, the cash flow boost is a tax free payment to employers and is automatically calculated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). There are no new forms required.

The payment will be delivered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020 upon businesses lodging eligible upcoming activity statements.

More information on this specific measure here.

JobKeeper – Employee Payments 

Who can benefit from this measure? Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses or not-for-profits impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees, including self-employed individuals. 

How does it work? 

Affected employers will be able to claim a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee from 30 March 2020 until 27 September 2020.  

How To Apply?

To register, please apply for the JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au

More information can be found here

For more general info about COVID-19 and the measures Australia has put in place for businesses, check this page: https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses 

Canada

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The full details are listed here: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/maintaingrowimprovebusiness/resources-for-canadian-businesses.html 

Here is what we think is important for you to know: 

Assistance for tourism operators, small businesses or organizations

Who can benefit from this measure? Tourism operators, small or medium sized businesses and organizations. 

How does it work? You can have support from your local RDA (Regional Development Agency). Your RDA can review your situation and provide guidance to get access to federal help. You may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements.

How to apply? Contact your local RDA directly by phone or check their website to send them an email. Contact information of RDAs are available here

For more general information about COVID-19 and the relief measures Canada has put in place, read this page: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

Please be sure to check the policies in place for your specific province. Here are some useful resources for Ontario:

https://budget.ontario.ca/2020/marchupdate/index.html?_ga=2.159922874.605848857.1585554049-814791724.1585554049

France 

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the French government is implementing immediate measures to support businesses economically. The full details of measures are listed here: https://www.economie.gouv.fr/coronavirus-soutien-entreprises#

Here is what we think is important for you to know: 

1,500€ in assistance that you can request starting March 31st:

Who can apply? The Very Small Enterprises, the self-employed, and micro-enterprises in the sectors most affected by COVID-19 outbreak (tourism and travel included) that make less than 1 million€ in revenue, employs up to 10 people and:

  • undergo an administrative closure; or
  • who experience a revenue loss of more than 70% in March 2020 compared to March 2019.

For the most difficult cases, additional support of 2,000€ can be granted to avoid bankruptcy on a case-by-case basis. 

How to apply?  You can apply from April 1st directly on the website https://www.impots.gouv.fr/portail/ to request 1,500€ in assistance. To request the additional support of 2,000€ you can ask from April 15th, you will need to contact your region directly. More information here

Maintaining employment in your company through simplified and reinforced partial unemployment system supported by the state

Who can benefit from this measure? Companies that need to suspend or reduce activities because of COVID-19. 

How does it work? The loss of salary generated by this change of status is compensated by an allocation dedicated to the employees that the state covers. 

The company pays compensation equal to 70% of gross salary (around 84% of the net) to its employees. Employees with minimum wage or less are provided 100% compensation. The company will be also fully reimbursed by the state for salaries up to 6,927€  gross monthly.

How to put this process in place? In order to place employees on partial unemployment benefits, companies that qualify can file a request for partial activity on the website of the Ministry of Labor dedicated to partial unemployment.

For more general info about COVID-19 and the relief measures France has put in place, read this overview from The  Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Paris https://pro.parisinfo.com/actualites/actualite-touristique/coronavirus

Germany 

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the German government is implementing measures to support businesses. The full details are listed here: https://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de/Content/DE/Standardartikel/Themen/Schlaglichter/Corona-Schutzschild/2020-03-19-Milliardenhilfe-fuer-alle.html

Here is what we think is important for you to know: 

Emergency aid from 9,000-15,000€ for 3 months 

Who can benefit from this measure? Those who are self-employed, small-business owners, and  companies of up to 10 employees can benefit.

In order to receive emergency aid, applicants must be able to demonstrate economic difficulties (existential threat or liquidity shortage) as a result of the corona pandemic. Specifically, this means that companies must not have been facing economic difficulties before March 2020 and that the damage must have occurred after March 11, 2020.

How does it work? Businesses of up to 5 employees will receive a payment up to 9,000€ for 3 months. Businesses of up to 10 employees up to 15,000€ for 3 months. The amount that those who are self-employed receive will be between 9,000-15,000€ for 3 months. 

How to apply? All the details for specific applications will be provided on the  Bundes Finanz Ministry website shortly. We will provide an update as soon as we know more.

Loans – KFW 2020 special program

Who can benefit from this program? Those who are self-employed and companies of all sizes.

How does it work? The funds for the KfW special program are unlimited. It is available to companies of all sizes. KfW loans have had generally relaxed conditions, but will likely have more favorable conditions moving forward to help as many companies as quickly and effectively as possible. The minimum requirements for a company’s creditworthiness, which otherwise apply to KfW’s lending, have been significantly reduced.

How to apply? The KfW 2020 special program will apply from March 23, 2020, applications can be submitted immediately. 

To submit your application, contact your own bank or another financing partner of your choice.  It is not possible to apply directly to the KFW.de website. More information about the application process can be found here: https://www.kfw.de/KfW-Group/Newsroom/Latest-News/KfW-Corona-Hilfe-Unternehmen.html 

For more information about COVID-19 and the German law, have a look at the “Infections Diseases Prevention and Control Act ” here: https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/ifsg/IfSG.pdf

Greece 

This website is available for employees and businesses impacted by COVID-19. They can  apply for support here: https://supportemployees.yeka.gr/

Instructions for completing the application are listed here.

Italy

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Italian government issued a decree called “Cura Italia.” 

Find all the measures listed here : 

https://www.inps.it/NuovoportaleINPS/default.aspx?itemdir=53474&lang=IT

Among the measures of the decree, please note that:

  • Companies can ask to suspend tax payments. Those earning under €2 million in revenue don’t have to pay taxes.
  • Liquidity assistance is available for small and medium companies by state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA.
  • The state guarantees up to €5 million for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Mortgage suspension measures are in accordance with banks. Self-employed workers can ask to suspend or extend mortgage payments and other long-term loans.

The decree is complex, we invite you to read the law in full. Have a look here: 

https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/showNewsDetail?id=2537&provenienza=home

Here is what we think is important for you to know: 

Indemnity of emergency of 600€ for the month of March for seasonal workers 

Who can benefit from this measure? Several sectors can benefit from this indemnity including seasonal workers in the tourism and wellness (spa) sectors. It only applies to workers unemployed from 1st January 2019 on March 17, 2020.

Advise your employees to have a look at all the details here

How to apply? Make an application on the INPS website starting at the end of March.  The process for filing your request is still unclear. We will provide an update as soon as we know more.

New Zealand

The government of New Zealand has created a central resource for COVID-19 business information with updates about COVID-19 and guidance to help businesses. 

Find all the measures listed here: https://www.business.govt.nz/covid-19/

Here is what we think is important for you to know: 

Wage subsidy scheme

The wage subsidy scheme will support employers and their staff to maintain an employment connection and ensure an income for affected employees, even if the employee is unable to actually work any hours. This measure has been modified to help businesses pay workers for an extended period of time if there is a need to shut down under Alert Level 4.

Who can benefit from this measure?  

  • Employers/businesses suffering from a 30% revenue drop attributable to COVID-19  so that they can continue to pay their employees.  

Businesses include self-employed, contractors, sole traders, registered charities, incorporated societies, post-settlement governance entities. The scheme excludes state sector organisations.

How does it work?

The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy will be paid at a flat rate of:

  • $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week (full-time rate)
  • $350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week (part-time rate).

The subsidy is paid as a lump sum and covers 12 weeks per employee.

How to apply?

Business must apply online on the Work and Income website.  Go to this page here and click on “Apply for Wage Subsidy” to start your application. 

Work and Income will verify information provided in applications with Inland Revenue.

More information about this measure here.

For more general info about COVID-19 and the other measures New Zealand has put in place, read this page here.

Portugal

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Portuguese government is implementing immediate measures to support businesses. The full details of measures are listed here: 

http://business.turismodeportugal.pt/pt/Gerir/covid-19/Paginas/informacao-empresas-covid-19.aspx

Here is what we think is important for you to know:

Credit line for micro-businesses in the tourism industry

Companies can receive a credit amount of 750€ per month per employee (based on your February 2020 employee sheet) up to a maximum of 20,000€ per company.

Credit is free of interest and to be reimbursed during a 3-year period starting 12 months from the date you get it.

Who can apply? Very small enterprises, the self-employed, and micro-enterprises in the tourism sector that make less than €2 million in revenue per year and have a maximum of 10 employees.

How to apply? Apply in the portal here

Maintaining employment in your company through simplified and reinforced partial unemployment system supported by the state

Who can benefit from this measure? Companies in need to suspend or reduce activities because COVID-19. 

How does it work? 

Extra support for maintaining employment contracts in a company in the amount of 2/3 of the remuneration, and ensuring 70% of Social Security, the remainder being covered by the employer.

How to benefit from it?

You can find the full description of the procedure here.

Spain

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spanish government is implementing measures to support businesses. The full details are listed here: 

https://www.mineco.gob.es/stfls/mineco/prensa/ficheros/noticias/2020/20200319_medidas_economicas_COVID19.pdf

Here is what we think is important for you to know: 

Credit line for businesses in the tourism industry

Companies can receive a credit amount up to a maximum of 500,000€ per company.

Credit is granted with an interest rate of 1.5%  and should be reimbursed during a 1-to-4-year period starting 12 months from the date you get it.

Who can apply? Companies that operate in the tourism sector as defined here.

How to apply? Applications are done directly with the credit institutions that are part of the initiative. You can find details here

To stay up to date with the latest announcements we advise you to regularly visit the pages below:

For main updates on these pages Twitter can also be a useful tool:

Thailand

The Royal Thai Government has approved Phase One of a broad range of financial and fiscal relief measures to help Thai companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, alleviate the business downturn impact of the COVID-19 virus crisis.

Travel and tourism companies are a primary focus of attention for the relief measures. Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said that tourism, which accounts for 12% of the GDP, has been one of the worst affected sectors due to a 44% decline in visitors in February 2020. Chinese visitors alone were down 85%.

Find all the measures listed here: 

Here is what we think is important for you to know: 

Mortgage suspension measures are in accordance with banks.
Details on different exceptions from banks in Thailand can be found here via the website of Bank of Thailand: https://www.bot.or.th/Thai/FinancialInstitutions/Pages/FI_Support.aspx#

Who can benefit from this measure? 

Several stakeholders; Individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and big corporations. Each beneficiary depends on the conditions from different banks

How to apply? 

Please check out this link for more information

Soft Loan For Tourism Businesses

Details on the Government Savings Bank & TAT SOFT LOAN (low interest loan) for tourism businesses affected by the COVID-19 virus.

https://tatnewsthai.org/news_detail.php?newsID=4936

Who can benefit from this measure? 

For SMEs in the tourism sector affected by the COVID-19 virus with a maximum loan of 20 million baht and fixed 2% interest rate for 2 years, and a maximum payback period of 10 years. 

How to apply? 

Please check out this link for more information or visit a Government Savings Bank branch

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the government announced a package of measures to protect jobs and income during the COVID-19 outbreak. Specifically, the government has dedicated funds for small to mid-size enterprises (SMEs) and for the self-employed.

Comprehensive information on the official website can be found here: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/coronavirus-covid-19/financiele-maatregelen

Here is what we think is important for you to know: 

An allowance of €4,000

Who can apply? Small to mid-size enterprises (SMEs) only, entrepreneurs and freelancers must have a physical establishment outside of their own home where they perform work.  The sectors targeted with this measure are: sectors who see their turnover wholly or largely disappear like the cultural sector. 

How to apply? You can apply for the Compensation for affected sectors measure (Tegemoetkoming Ondernemers Getroffen Sectoren COVID-19) with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency: https://www.rvo.nl/subsidie-en-financieringswijzer/compensatieregeling-getroffen-sectoren  

You can find information on the application procedure on the RVO’s website: https://www.rvo.nl/subsidie-en-financieringswijzer/tegemoetkoming-schade-covid-19/aanvraagprocedure

You have 3 months to apply for this compensation: from Friday 27 March 16:30 until Friday 26 June 17:00 hours.  You can only apply online with eHerkenning level 1 or Digid. 

Check RVO’s website for more information here: https://english.rvo.nl/about-us/eloket-and-eherkenning 

More information about this measure also here

Temporary bridging assistance for self-employed:  income support and loans from March 1st until June 1st 

Who can apply? Self-employed entrepreneurs who are based in the Netherlands can apply. To meet this criteria, entrepreneurs must have started a business before 1 January 2020 and worked at least 1,225 hours per year. 

Find more info about the program here: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/coronavirus-covid-19/financiele-maatregelen/tozo 

How does it work?  Income will be supported up to the social minimum for up to three months. The exact amount depends on the composition of your household and your income. You do not have to repay this income support.

For loans, you can also request a working capital loan of up to 10,517€. This amount must be refunded. The interest rate is not yet known, but is expected to be below the rate of 8% applied at the Welfare Support for the Self-Employed Organization. 

How to benefit from it? Apply directly on your municipality’s website. If you are based in Amsterdam, here is the page where you can apply.

The United Arab Emirates

The Central Bank of UAE has created an economic support program to minimize the effects of the COVID-19.  The package includes measures that will help facilitate access to finance for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), reducing fees, and removing hurdles to opening business bank accounts.

Here is what we think is important for you to know: :  

The reduction of the amounts that capital banks have to hold for loans to SMEs by 15 to 25% 

Who can benefit from this measure? All SMEs 

How to apply? All banks in UAE can offer this service.  

More information available here. Please be sure to check the policies in place for your specific states and cities. Here are some useful resources for Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The United Kingdom 

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of the United Kingdom is implementing measures to support businesses. The full details are listed here: 

https://www.visitbritain.org/covid-19-new-coronavirus-latest-information-and-advice-for-businesses

Here is what we think is important for you to know: 

Credit line for businesses in the tourism industry

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance, and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

Who can apply? You are eligible for the program if your business is UK-based with revenue of up to £45 million per year and meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria.

How to apply? Applications are done directly with the credit institutions that are part of the initiative. You can find details here

Maintaining employment in your company through simplified and reinforced partial unemployment system supported by the state

Who can benefit from this measure? All UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

How does it work? 

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the government will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. 

How to benefit from it?

You can find the full description of the procedure here.

The United States  

Companies in the United States in need of financial assistance can primarily apply for low-interest loans put in place by the US Small Business Administration (SBA).

Find all the relevant information information on this page: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19#section-header-1 

Low-interest federal disaster loans 

Who can apply? Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to COVID-19. 

What are the conditions of the loan?

  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. 
  • The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

How to apply?

Go to the SBA dedicated platform to apply for a loan: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ – Click “Apply Online” to start the process. 

Find the application process, conditions for application, and information on how these loans are granted here: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ 

You can find more useful information here:  https://www.benefits.gov/help/faq/Coronavirus-resources

Please be sure to check the policies in place for your specific states and cities. Here are some useful resources for New York City and the state of Florida. 

NYC: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-outreach.page

Florida: https://floridadisasterloan.org/

CARES Act

The CARES Act, the largest economic relief package in our nation’s history, was signed into law on March 27 and includes major provisions to deliver economic support to travel businesses, travel workers and their families.

We invite you to read the law in full. Have a look here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3548/text 

Here is what we think is important for you to know:  

Who can benefit from this measure? 

Any U.S. business, regardless of size, which may include any nonprofit that is tax exempt under 501(c) of the tax code, including 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) organizations. Businesses must also meet ALL of the

following criteria:

● Created or organized in the United States;

● Have significant operations in the United States;

● Have a majority of its employees based in the United States; and

● Have not otherwise received adequate economic relief in the form of loans or loan guarantees

provided elsewhere under the CARES Act—such as through SBA loan programs.

How does it work? Businesses would be able to access different types of help: secured loans through banks, direct loans through the Federal Reserve, direct federal investment, loans for mid-sized businesses and nonprofits, Main Street lending program for small and mid-sized Businesses, troubled debt restructuring (TDR).

How to benefit from it? It is still in the works. Once a program is established, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve will likely publish application procedures and minimum requirements for loans and other assistance made available under the programs. For lending enabled through financial institutions, additional application procedures will be provided by the bank. 

You can find details about this law here.For more about the measures the US has put in place with the CARES Act, read this overview from the US Travel Association here:  https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/covid-19-cares-act-relief-resources?cid=NYCEM_MEM_Coronavirus14_20200330