SARS-CoV-2 relief efforts

Vienna, April 2, 2020

The purpose of this overview is to help the companies and research institutions in our network to quickly find the information they need. In addition, please also have a look at the Vienna Business Ageny's new list on relief efforts and read the summary provided by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs.

Furthermore, we encourage you to pay attention to the following information:

The LISAvienna team is still here for you, and we can provide support by phone or e-mail. Our office is closed as we are working from home. Please also do your part to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2!

aws guarantee in connection with the coronavirus crisis

The aim is to facilitate the financing of working capital loans for companies whose sales and earnings performance is impacted by the loss of orders and deliveries or other market changes as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Click here for information about the expanded and simplified aws guarantee.

Here are the key expansions:

  • Processing and guarantee fees are waived
  • No planning figures or business plans required
  • No loan collaterals required
  • Freelance activities are eligible for guarantee effective immediately
  • Guarantees may also be used to defer existing lines of credit
  • A fast track process has been introduced to speed up guarantee approvals

Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) emergency call for COVID-19 research in the wake of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak

The Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW) and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) together invest € 21 million (from an aid package of € 23 million) in coronavirus related business R&D. Contact the FFG for details. Proposals are due on April 8, 2020 (for short-time decisions) or May 11, 2020.  Click here for more information about the emergency call.

The call is for individual R&D projects or clinical trials of Austrian companies which focus on the following topics with regards to the coronavirus, and which can be implemented quickly:

  • The biology of the virus and its transmission
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Research and development of medicines and other treatments as well as the development of new diagnostic methods
  • Planning and conducting clinical trials

WKO: Backstop fund for self-employed people

The Austrian Federal Government has set up a € 1 bn fund to quickly support people in financial distress linked to the corona virus crisis. In cases of emergency, grants are provided to micro businesses, independent workers and free lancers for example. Apply as of March 27, 2020, 5 p.m. Information on the prerequisites for funding, the required documents and about who exactly is eligible for support is available here.

Vienna Business Agency: € 10 million funding for the installation of home offices granted

This support program funds projects concerning the installation of teleworking workplaces as well as establishing stable methods of communication between telework stations and the company location(s). These include third-party consultations and investments in IT equipment.

In total, 2.050 Viennese SMEs have been supported. Click here for details.

Additional support opportunities for Vienna’s companies will be available soon.

Vienna Employment Promotion Fund (waff): Labor foundations

waff and the Vienna Public Employment Service (AMS) can support Vienna-based companies in a variety of ways: from setting up a labor foundation (Arbeitsstiftung) when staff need to be made redundant to providing training for employees during a period of further education leave or while they are working reduced hours. If redundancies are unavoidable, labour foundations offer the employees affected the opportunity to make a career change. The municipality of Vienna provides financial assistance to participants who live in Vienna. Funds for such foundations have been increased by € 3 million. Additional details on labor foundations and crisis management are provided here.

Wiener Kreditbürgschafts-und Beteiligungsbank (WKBG): Corona stop-gap aid

Guarantees of up to € 500,000  are available for Viennese SMEs - wired to the respective companies’ banks. The City of Vienna and WKW each provide € 5 million for this new WKBG guarantee program and defray the costs for commissions and the service fee. Click here for more details about the WKBG stop-gap aid.

FWF: Urgent Funding for Research into Humanitarian Crises Like Epidemics and Pandemics

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is calling on researchers to submit project proposals for research into humanitarian crises such as epidemics and pandemics within its existing programmes but as part of a new fast track procedure. The goal is to initiate, as quickly as possible, additional high-quality scientific and scholarly projects at research institutions throughout Austria and thus expand capacities and structures, thereby contributing to overcoming the current humanitarian crisis as well as future ones. Expertise of all disciplines sought after. Submissions will be accepted from April 6 to September, 30, 2020. Click here for details on the FWF priority prodecures.

The Mayor of the City of Vienna's medical and scientific fund awards grants for research on the coronavirus

Only applications submitted by Vienna-based doctors or those employed by Vienna's hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient clinics, or who work in the city's public health services, will be considered. Applications for the “SARS-/CoV-2” or “COVID-19” focus point are currently open on a rolling basis, outside of regular application deadlines. Click here for the details.

Further resources

Austrian Business Agency (ABA): governmental measures to support businesses

The Austrian government's current measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have raised a number of legal and tax questions. Experts at Deloitte have compiled the most important of these questions for the ABA.

Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO) COVID-19 information services for affected companies

You can also consult the overview provided by the Chamber of Commerce. Click here for information on a special fund for micro businesses, freelancers and non-profit organizations and to view forms for confirming essential employees as well as industry-specific information, among other things.

We recommend reading the daily coronavirus updates by WKW. Register now and also have a look at the mailing archive.

AK and ÖGB: jobs & corona

The Austrian Chambers of Labor (AK) and the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) are working to ensure that as many jobs are retained as possible despite the corona crisis. To this end, they are developing new measures to be implemented specifically for this unique crisis. Click here for more information about topics including home offices, jobs & family, and temporary work.

Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES): coronavirus information page

Visit the AGES web page for information about the current situation in Austria. You can also learn more about the virus, what to do if you become infected, which telephone hotlines to call, and more.

This list is not exhaustive. Feel free to contact us at news(at)LISAvienna.at to request any additions or changes. We will update this page on an ongoing basis.