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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 Spain’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.


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


Expenditure measures (direct grants):

On 2 April 2020, a Spanish aid scheme was launched to support the Spanish economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The “umbrella” scheme consists of a National Temporary Framework for State aid, based on which Spanish national, regional, and local authorities will be able to grant aid providing liquidity support to self-employed, SMEs and large companies in the form of direct grants, repayable advances, tax and payment advantages, guarantees on loans and subsidised interest rates for loans. The scheme will help businesses to cover immediate working capital or investment needs.

Measures related to public guarantees, loans, tax deferrals:

On 24 March 2020, two Spanish guarantee schemes for companies and self-employed workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak were introduced. The schemes are for new loans and refinancing operations for (i) self-employed workers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and (ii) larger companies, with the objective to ensure that these companies have the liquidity to help them safeguard jobs and continue their activities.

Photo Credit: We Rave You

SPAIN dedicated €40 billion to support the Spanish economy affected by the coronavirus outbreak.


Expenditure measures (direct grants):

On 31 July 2020 Spain planned to set up a Solvency Support Fund with a budget of €10 billion that will invest in companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The fund, established through the State budget, will provide debt and capital support to strategic enterprises active in Spain in the form of debt and recapitalisation

On 6 August, under EU State aid rules and in particular the Temporary Framework, the Commission approved amendments to two previously-approved Spanish guarantee schemes. The existing schemes with a total budget of €20 billion, providing guarantees on loans to companies and the self-employed, were approved on 24 March. The amendments to these schemes increase the budgetary allocation by €40 billion, which will be released in different tranches.

Photo Credit: IBTM World Barcelona


Expenditure measures (direct grants):

On 22 February 2021, the Commission approved the modification of an existing Spanish ‘umbrella’ scheme previously approved in April 2020 to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with the state aid Temporary Framework. The modification allows for limited amounts of aid through financial intermediaries and introduces a new measure to support the uncovered, fixed costs of companies affected by the outbreak. The public support, in the form of direct grants, tax and payment advantages, repayable advances, guarantees, loans and equity is accessible to companies of all sizes active in all sectors excluding the financial one. Its objective is to provide liquidity to companies experiencing a decline in turnover because of the coronavirus outbreak.

On 23 March 2021: Modification of Spanish schemes, including €10 billion budget increase for the aid of limited amount, to further support the economy in the context of coronavirus outbreak.

Photo Credit: Fira de Barcelona

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

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