The closure of restaurants, fitness studios, cultural establishments or certain shops would have drastic effects on a considerable part of the Nidwalden economy, writes the government council in a statement. After the Federal Council announced its intention to provide significantly more funds for Covid-19 hardship measures, the government council created the necessary legal requirements to be able to call up the additional federal funds if necessary, the message continues. At its meeting on Tuesday, it issued the Covid-19 Additional Emergency Funding Ordinance in addition to the cantonal hardship ordinance.
We cannot wait for a referendum
Without this adjustment, a maximum of CHF 10.43 million in financial aid would be available in the canton of Nidwalden. If the federal parliament takes the appropriate decision in March, the Nidwalden companies can now be paid out up to 27.6 million – if all the funds have to be used. According to the distribution key proposed by the Federal Council, the federal government assumes 70 percent of the expenses, the canton has to pay for the remaining 30 percent. This means that the general credit approved by the District Administrator in mid-December 2020 for hardship benefits of 5 million francs will likely be exceeded. 5 million is the maximum amount that the district administrator can speak without the need for a mandatory referendum. “A referendum could take place in June 2021 at the earliest. We cannot wait that long.
The provision of additional funds is urgent and must be done now, “Landammann and economics director Othmar Filliger is quoted as saying.
The Covid-19 Additional Emergency Financing Ordinance comes into force on Wednesday and will be submitted to the district administrator as soon as possible.
More money for A-fonds-perdu contributions
With the emergency ordinance, the cantonal share of hardship benefits is based on the minimum amount under federal law. This will remain the case if the federal government should give additional funding in the future. This makes ongoing readjustment of the cantonal provisions unnecessary, the government council continues. “Of course, companies will only continue to receive financial aid if the requirements of the federal government and the requirements of the cantonal hardship ordinance are met. All applications are checked individually, ”says Othmar Filliger.
In the framework credit for the hardship program, the non-repayable contributions were originally capped. In view of the latest developments with the closure of businesses, this is now proving to be problematic. More A-fund perdu contributions are urgently needed in order to be able to provide more effective assistance.
The refore, the emergency ordinance overrides the district council’s decision on this point as well. All federal funds are now used for non-repayable contributions, the cantonal funds are given as guarantees.
183 applications have been received so far
The steps that have now been initiated were based on the government council’s analysis that the previous CHF 10.43 million would not be sufficient in the medium and long term to sustainably strengthen the viability of companies in need. In the first round of submissions between January 15 and February 15, 2021, a total of 183 hardship applications were received. On behalf of the canton, the Nidwaldner Kantonalbank (NKB) checked this on a material level. In the next few days, the decision-making committee, which consists of the economics director, the finance director and a board member of the cantonal trade association, will decide on the acceptance of applications, the amount of the contribution and the type of payment. Based on the hardship ordinance, a maximum of CHF 300,000 in A-fund perdu contributions and a maximum of CHF 750,000 in loans would be granted per company. Applications received after mid-February would continue to be received, checked and assessed in chronological order.
The first contributions from the compassionate use program could therefore be paid out at the beginning of March, according to the government council.
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Hardship measures Nidwalden government issues emergency ordinance expansion Covid19 financial aid