Czech government extends support to small businesses impacted by coronavirus

The ministry predicts that the continuing restrictions could prevent up to 13,000 people from working from June to August

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 09.06.2020 08:06 (updated on 09.06.2020)

From March 15 on, the majority of businesses in the Czech Republic have been negatively impacted by the anti-coronavirus measures introduced by the Czech government to stop the spread of the disease.

While restrictions are slowly being lifted, the economic outlook for many of the businesses hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic remains tentative — and the state has announced that it will continue to offer support.

The Czech government announced Monday that it will continue to pay out compensation for firms due to their closure or staff having had to be quarantined due to the coronavirus, until the end of August, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jana Malacova tweeted Monday evening.

It has extended the deadline for the compensation, known as Antivirus Program, which was originally set for end-May.

“Despite a marked improvement in the epidemiological situation, there are still some local epicentres of COVID-19 infection in Czechia, such as Prague and the Karvina district, north Moravia,” the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry wrote in a document accompanying its proposal.

Under the Antivirus A package, the state compensates 80 percent of the wages firms paid to their employees in quarantine, and the wages of the employees of firms that had to close over the epidemic, but 39,000 CZK per employee a month at the most.

Antivirus B compensates 60 percent of the wages, up to 29,000 CZK per person a month, for firms whose operation was limited as a result of the outage of raw materials, workforce or demand.

Based on another provision (Antivirus C), now discussed by the Senate, the state will forgive the social insurance contributions to small firms for three months.

It also mentioned the current ban on mass events with the attendance over 500, which prevents, for example, cultural festivals and trade fairs from taking place.

AGENCY PROPERTIES

The ministry predicts that the continuing restrictions will could prevent up to 13,000 people from working from June to August. In June, there might be 6,000, in July and August 4,000 and 3,000, respectively the ministry wrote.

The compensation would also apply to 4,500 organizers of trade fairs and cultural events.

According to the ministry, the state’s average contribution per an employee in quarantine (Antivirus A) is 6,020 CZK. The spending in this respect is estimated at 604.8 million CZK by end-August at the most.

In total, the ministry expects to spend 22.9 billion CZK within Antivirus A and B until the end of August.

Are you a small business with questions about how to benefit from government support? See our Q&A here.