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Photo Credit: ERR

Kongres Magazine has prepared an overview of European State Aid for Covid-19 for the meetings industry. Considering the meetings and exhibition industry was one of the most affected during the corona crisis, state aid is of utmost importance for the survival and resilience of the sector. Below, the support from the EU and European governments to Estonia’s exhibition industry is listed.

We hope the mentioned good practice case will encourage other governments and policymakers to do the same in their respective countries. Exhibitions and trade shows are the fastest of fast-tracks to economic recovery once the coronavirus crisis has passed and will deliver the best return on investment now. We sincerely thank UFI, EEIA, and EMECA for providing valuable information.

CASE STUDY: ESTONIA

Estonia was one of the most aiding countries when it came to the meetings and exhibitions industry. Their financial aid helped the industry persevere.

EMERGENCY HELP

Expenditure measures (direct grants):

On 21 April 2020, eight Estonian State aid schemes in the form of direct grants and payment advantages to provide liquidity to companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Eight support schemes, with a total estimated budget of €75.5 million, to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Under the schemes, public support will be provided as follows: direct grants for: (i) small companies that seek to transform their products, services, processes and business model in order to support their viability; (ii) companies that invest in development projects to support their viability; companies in the tourism sector (iii) that seek to restructure their activities, to develop new products and/or services, or to change their business model as a result of the outbreak; and (iv) to mitigate coronavirus related damage; (v) direct grants to companies and organisations active in the culture and sports sectors affected by the coronavirus; and three measures related to the City of Tallinn: (vi) payment advantages to companies supplying products or services; (vii) a waiver of penalties to companies that failed to fulfil orders in due time; and (viii) reduced rent leases and usage fees to lessees of municipal property.

Measures related to public guarantees, loans, tax deferrals:

On 31 March 2020, two Estonian State aid schemes to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The first scheme will be implemented and administered by the public Foundation KredEx, and the second one, implemented by the public Estonian Rural Development Foundation. Under both schemes, with a total estimated budget of €1.75 billion, the support will consist either in the provision of public guarantees on existing or new loans or in the granting of loans at favourable terms. The aim of the schemes is to help businesses cover immediate working capital or investment needs that have been impaired by the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

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Photo Credit: Estonian Convention Bureau

Estonia dedicated €75.5 million to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

RECOVERY HELP

Expenditure measures (direct grants):

On 18 February 2021, a €3.2 million Estonian scheme to support organisers of cultural events in Ida-Viru County and Harju County in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. Under the state aid Temporary Framework, the support, in the form of direct grants, aims to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that companies are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak.

On 25 March 2021, the Commission approved an Estonian scheme of €9.9 million to support companies active in the tourism and tourism-related sectors affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Under the state aid Temporary Framework, the aid, in the form of direct grants, aims to help the beneficiaries address their liquidity needs and continue their activities throughout the pandemic.

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Photo Credit: Tallinn Convention Bureau, Rasmus Jurkatam

To find out more about Estonia’s aid scheme, click here.