Switzerland doubles emergency coronavirus loan fund for small businesses

Switzerland doubles emergency coronavirus loan fund for small businesses
Swiss Interior Minister Alain Berset (R) leaves the Geneva hospital. Photo: STEFAN WERMUTH / AFP
Switzerland has doubled the money made available in a loan fund for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) negatively affected by the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus.

The initial fund was set at CHF20 million when announced on March 25th, with the amount now doubled to CHF40 million. 

The popularity of the scheme was the major reason for the additional money. 

More than 76,000 businesses applied for loans in the fund’s first week of operations, totalling more than CHF15 billion. 

Who can apply for coronavirus financial assistance in Switzerland?

How can SMEs apply for the loans?

Companies will be able to contact their banks from Monday, March 23rd onwards, in order to ask for a credit of up to 500,000 francs. 

In this case, the government will underwrite the loans and no review is required from the bank. 

For loans of more than 500,000 francs, the credit is guaranteed 15 percent by the bank and 85 percent by the Swiss government.

Compensation is also available for independently managed publicly accessible companies like bars and restaurants, as well as self-employed people like freelance artists who have to cancel events and performances as a result of the virus.

The loans are administered by a network of 115 Swiss banks. 

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