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: SWEDEN
Sweden was one of the most aiding countries when it came to the meetings and exhibitions industry. Their financial aid helped the industry persevere.
On 22 April under EU State aid rules a SEK 420 million (approximately €38 million) Swedish scheme that compensates companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak for the loss of revenue or additional costs related to the cancellation or postponement of cultural events. Under the scheme, those operators will be entitled to compensation for the damages suffered, in the form of direct grants covering 75% of their loss of revenue or additional costs up to SEK 1 million (approx. €90,600), and 50% for the part of the losses above SEK 1 million. Aid may be granted up to a maximum amount of SEK 10 million (approx. €906,000) per beneficiary.
Measures related to public guarantees:
On 2 April 2020, under the Temporary Framework, a Swedish aid scheme was announced to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. This is a guarantee scheme for new loans granted by commercial banks to support companies, mainly SMEs, affected by the coronavirus outbreak. It aims at limiting the risk associated with issuing loans to those companies most severely affected by the economic impact of the current crisis, thus ensuring the continuation of their activity.
On 11 June 2020, a Swedish scheme was announced that partially compensated companies exposed to large turnover decline for damages suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak, in line with EU State aid rules. Under the scheme, companies from all sectors that are registered in Sweden and had a proven decline in turnover of more than 30% during March and April 2020 compared to a reference period before the coronavirus outbreak, with subsequent operating losses, will be entitled to compensation for the damage suffered. The compensation, in the form of direct grants, can cover a maximum of 75% of the fixed costs that the companies still had to bear, with a maximum aid amount of approximately €14 million (SEK 150 million) per company or group.
On 15 February 2021, the Commission approved a €1.4 billion Swedish scheme to support uncovered fixed costs of companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
On 6 April 2021, the Commission approved the modification of an existing rent abatement scheme to support tenants operating in several sectors that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Under the state aid Temporary Framework, the budget was increased from approximately €453 million to approximately €795 million and the duration was extended to include the January-end March 2021 period.