Hamburg providing more aid for creative scene and start-ups

City presents "Corona Recovery Fund" and "New Start Bonus"
09 July 2020
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Hamburg has launched two new instruments to help companies, artists and creative people cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The "Corona Recovery Fund" (CRF) targets start-ups and growth-orientated SMEs while the "Neustartprämie or "relaunch  bonus" helps artists and creative people get their business up and running again.

Hamburg's economic growth programme

"After Hamburg's protective shield had a financial impact of around EUR 4 billion by late June, we are now gradually putting parts of our economic stimulus and growth programme into action," said Andreas Dressel, Senator for Finance. The move consists of targeted investments in a sustainable economy and cultural sector. "Coupled with the increased innovation funding, we have reserved over EUR 75 million for those measures in our corona budget. Further measures such as bridging assistance and economic stabilisation funds are being preparated. We continue to make possible whatever is required to exit the crisis with oomph in Hamburg as well," he added.

Corona Recovery Fund for start-ups and SMEs

The CRF helps start-ups and growth-orientated SMEs in Hamburg with long-term risk and equity funding. Investments of up to EUR 500,000 are possible. Those interested can send their application to the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank (IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH) or BTG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Hamburg mbH. The volume of the CRF comes to EUR 50 million and consists of state and national funds. Hamburg is putting at least EUR 12.5 million towards it. The CRF targets technology orientated start-ups, fledgling companies with non-technological products, services, process and business model innovations as well as other growth-orientated SMEs with annual sales of up to EUR 75 million and up to 50 employees. Firms and public companies that were in difficulties on December 31, 2019 do not qualify for the grants. The fund is the follow-up to a module for innovative start-ups in Hamburg's Corona Immediate Aid package that helped start-ups bridge short-term liquidity bottlenecks and which expired on June 30, 2020. By that date, the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank had approved 116 grants and allocated around EUR 5 million.

One-off relaunch restart bonus

Artists and creative professionals have been badly hit by the restrictions and can now apply for a one-off, non-repayable grant of EUR 2,000 under the relaunch bonus. "We want to give artists and creative people a fresh start. We are continuing our close contact with institutions and associations to bring culture back to life and to help artists through this period," said Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture and Media. Hamburg-based artists who are members of the Künstlersozialkasse (KSK) and now find themselves in financial difficulties are eligible to apply. Applications can be filed online until August 31, 2020 at the latest.

More corona aid in planning

Supplementary offers of help continue and include among others a package for the cultural sector (Hilfspaket Kultur), another grant called IFB-Förderkredit Kultur Fördermodul Corona and a simplified process under which the self-employed can obtain basic financial assistance. More aid is being planned in co-ordination with the German government.