COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves prolongation of Norwegian support scheme for businesses*
The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved the prolongation of a Norwegian guarantee scheme that will help ensure access to credit for businesses facing an acute shortage of liquidity due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Norwegian economy continues to be affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures. The Norwegian authorities have recognised the difficult situation many businesses are experiencing, and see a need for the scheme to be prolonged until 31 October 2021. The scheme’s budget of NOK 50 billion (EUR 4.66 billion) will remain unchanged.
The scheme was initially notified and approved on 26 March 2020. On 2 April the scheme was amended to also include large enterprises; on 25 May the scheme was prolonged until 31 December 2020; on 31 July, the scheme was amendedto include aid to micro enterprises in difficulty; and on 12 November the scheme was prolonged until 30 June 2021.
Today’s prolongation is approved in line with the European Commission’s Temporary Framework for state aid measures to support the economy during the current COVID-19 outbreak.