With the spread of COVID-19, the Chamber of Commerce of Luxembourg has taken measures to support companies having difficulties to ensure their activities in this period of crisis. Together with the entities House of Entrepreneurship, Mutualité de Cautionnement and the General Directorate for the Middle Classes of the Ministry of the Economy; new measures have been adopted and will be active as of this Monday 16thMarch 2020.
Luc Frieden, the President of the Chamber of Commerce declared: "This is an exceptional and serious situation with major repercussions for businesses", before presenting three support measures for businesses. A bank guarantee, online assistance and a future law will be put in place to complement the aid instruments to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Bank Guarantee to Enterprises in case of cash flow difficulties:
This first measure concerns companies facing financial difficulties and liquidity problems. Indeed, the Chamber of Commerce uses its Mutualité de Caution so that companies that need a line of credit or a bank loan can obtain it. This guarantee can cover up to 50% of the credit up to a maximum amount of 250,000 euros. Luc Frieden emphasised the fact that there will be no restrictive criteria and that a serious application must be made to benefit from this mutuality. He also added "In order to guarantee rapid assistance to companies that request it, a procedure for analysing files within 48 hours has been put in place. Once again, we insist on the speed and pragmatism of this measure to support companies, in addition to existing instruments such as short-time working. The aim is to ensure the continuity of businesses in these difficult times. »
Helpline for Companies
The second measure implemented is the establishment by the House of Entrepreneurship of the Chamber of Commerce of a telephone line to assist businesses by providing information in real time.
This line is 42 39 39 39-445 and will be operational from Monday 16 March 2020.
The opening hours of this line are from 9:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:00. It will allow to answer to the different questions of the companies on several subjects. This line can also be reached by e-mail at: covid19(at)houseofentrepreneurship.lu.It is important to specify that this line is not intended to answer health questions, which are handled by the Ministry of Health.
Aid for SMEs
The Minister of Middle Classes, Lex Delles, announced an aid scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises in temporary financial difficulty on March 11, 2020. However, this grant is subject to the following three factors; namely that an event was recognized as having an adverse impact on the economic activity of certain businesses, that the business was experiencing temporary financial difficulties and that there was a causal link between these difficulties and the event in question. The Minister also stated: "We are aware that the SME sector, the backbone of the Luxembourg economy, is facing a major challenge. I am convinced that, thanks to close and regular contact with private sector players, we will jointly find the appropriate and necessary solutions in this extraordinary period".
Publié le 17 mars 2020