The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves Norwegian umbrella scheme to support businesses in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves Norwegian umbrella scheme to support businesses*

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a Norwegian umbrella scheme allowing municipalities to support local businesses that are suffering due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Preventive measures and restrictions put in place by the Norwegian authorities to contain the pandemic have resulted in increased costs and lost revenues for businesses. The crisis has had different impact on local communities and sectors across Norway, calling for a variety of support measures.

In response, the Norwegian authorities have put in place a national umbrella scheme that provides municipalities with a framework to aid local companies of all sizes facing a shortage of liquidity as a result of the COVID19 outbreak. This will allow each municipality to meet specific local needs, which are not covered by other national schemes.

The scheme has an estimated maximum budget of NOK 2 billion (EUR 198 million).

The scheme is approved in line with the European Commission’s Temporary Framework for state aid measuresto support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Norway notified the measure to ESA on 16 April. You can read ESA’s decision here.

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EFTA Surveillance Authority, The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves Norwegian umbrella scheme to support businesses in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, 16 April 2021, e-Competitions March 2021, Art. N° 100224

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