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COVID-19: Additional federal support for Innovative Start-ups

27 April, 2020

A favourable outcome for innovative start-ups in Switzerland with the Swiss Federal Council deciding that start-ups will be eligible to apply for the Confederation’s existing emergency aid in addition to the system of guarantees already offered to SMEs.

Switzerland regularly invests in raising its profile as an innovative location for business and is seen, in particular, as a global driver for the digital revolution. It is excellent news for innovative start-ups as this will help provide greater protection against insolvency due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Up till now, they have had little or no access to the Confederation’s existing COVID-19 emergency aid.

Guarantees will be to a max of 1 million CHF per startup for about 10 years with 65% guaranteed by the Swiss Confederation and the remaining 35% by the individual cantons if the canton decides to offer this facility initially intended for SMEs. Several cantons are already offering considerable resources to other kinds of support for start-ups. Because of the urgent situation, this approach can be implemented without the need for a time-consuming legislative amendment.

On April 30 2020, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) will provide the criteria and further details on the procedure as well as a list of participating cantons.

For cantons that decide to go ahead with this offer, start-ups have until August 31 2020, to submit the guarantee application to the relevant cantonal offices. When necessary, the cantonal offices can seek consultation from an advisory board assembled by the Swiss Innovation Agency (Innosuisse).

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