Government approves €25 million tourism sector aid package ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Kõpu Lighthouse, a popular place for tourists to visit on the island of Hiiumaa .
Kõpu Lighthouse, a popular place for tourists to visit on the island of Hiiumaa . Source: Juhan Hepner/ERR

The government on Monday approved a €25 million aid package for the tourism sector and the allocation of €10 million to support micro and small enterprises.

The crisis measure package totaling €35 million was developed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and Enterprise Estonia (EAS), the ministry said.

Through EAS, the ministry will start offering direct support to accommodation, catering and travel companies, tourist attractions as well as tourism service providers offering experience services to visitors in nature tourism, cultural tourism or active leisure services.

The amount of support per company ranges from 2,000 to 60,000 euros, depending on the company's field of activity, size, loss of revenue, labor taxes paid to the state and the need to survive the crisis period.

In order to support tourism companies operating on quarantined islands, €1 million has been allocated separately within the €25 million to assist tourism companies in Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Vormsi, Ruhnu, Kihnu, Muhu and Manija.

Grants to islands are not directly limited to the amount allocated to them. If more than €1 million worth is received in applications from the region, the remaining applications will apply on the same basis as other applicants from other regions.

Through EAS, the ministry will also start offering direct support to micro and small enterprises, the aim of which is to provide one-time non-refundable aid to partially compensate for crisis damage caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, which would help micro and small enterprises ensure their sustainability in the provision of products and services also after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the 10 million euro support, €500,000 have been allocated to micro and small enterprises in Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Vormsi, Ruhnu, Kihnu, Muhu and Manija, and €500,000 to micro and small enterprises in Ida-Viru County. The amount of support ranges from €3,000 to €5,000 per company, depending on the size of the company's revenue and loss of revenue.

Both direct subsidies of EAS are one-off and one crisis support measure per undertaking can be applied for. The target group of companies eligible to apply for the support is large and the volume of the support budget is limited, thus, the support will be processed in the order the applications are received until the funds run out.

Entrepreneurs can apply for direct subsidies through EAS. Application for grants will likely open in early May following the entry into force of the support regulations.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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