As the world continues to wait out the harmful possibilities of the Delta COVID-19 variant, and we here in Germany have seen a lukewarm economic reaction to ‘’re-opening’’ the financial crisis seems to loom as a more dire situation threatens nearly every industry. Thankfully, the German government has extended many key programs to ensure the financial stability of freelancers and self-employed persons. We are going to give you an overview, in English, in our blog article today. Now, of course, you may remember the first round of funding for those who could not access the Bridging Aid III - that was, of course, Neustarthilfe.
This ‘’Restart Aid’’ supported self-employed people whose economic activity is restricted due to Corona in the funding period from January 1 to June 30, 2021. It supplemented the existing security systems, such as the basic security like loss of employment income and similar. Self-employed persons who do not make use of the reimbursement of fixed costs under bridging aid III were eligible to receive 50 percent of a reference turnover generated in the comparison period as a one-off support service (restart aid). The restart assistance amounted to a maximum of 7,500 euros.
Now, in a joint offering from various departments of the German government, including the Ministry of Finance, they have expanded and improved the Neustarthilfe Plus program. The new Neustarthilfe Plus program will continue to support self-employed people, corporations, cooperatives, non-employed and short-term employees in the performing arts in coping with the economic consequences of the corona pandemic.
For this purpose, the advance payment (flat-rate operating costs) was increased to a maximum of 4,500 euros for self-employed persons and one-person corporations and to up to 18,000 euros for multi-person corporations and cooperatives over the entire reference period. Initially, the Restart Aid Plus can only be applied for by direct application in your own name. The application deadline is October 31, 2021.
An overview of what is funded, and why
The funding period for the Neustarthilfe Plus is July to September 2021. The Neustarthilfe Plus is a one-off 50 percent of a three-month reference turnover (special regulations apply to low turnover or income in 2019 due to exceptional circumstances such as interruptions to work due to care leave, illness or parental leave or for cases in who started business before November 1, 2020, but only after January 1, 2019). A maximum of 4,500 euros for self-employed persons and one-person corporations and a maximum of 18,000 euros for multi-person corporations and cooperatives are paid out as a Restart Aid Plus.
If the application requirements are met, the Restart Aid Plus is initially paid out as an advance payment. The amount of the Neustarthilfe Plus will only be calculated exactly after the end of the funding period - based on the final turnover from July to September 2021.
As a general rule, you can keep the advance payment in full if you lost 60 percent or more of your sales. If sales have fallen by less than 60 percent during the funding period, part of the advance must be repaid so that Neustarthilfe Plus and sales in the funding period do not exceed 90 percent of the reference sales. Only when the drop in sales is less than ten percent ( ie sales in the funding period corresponds to more than 90 percent of the reference sales) does the entire advance have to be paid back. This is no different from the first version of the assistance funding.