WKO Info Service
On the Infopage of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber you will find FAQs for entrepreneurs about Covid-19, answers to questions about short-time work, closures or aid measures, information on sectors and countries, initiatives and programmes. Please visit the website regularly, as there are always innovations in the measures, which will be published as soon as possible.
Overview Corona aid package
The federal government has put together an aid package for the economy for the economic consequences of the Corona crisis, which has four cornerstones: Preserving jobs, securing liquidity, enabling emergency aid for the self-employed and cushioning business losses. This is intended to support the self-employed in all sectors and of all sizes. An overview of support measures including factsheets and further links can be found here.
General economic aid packages
Hardship Fund: Support for self-employed persons
The Hardship Fund is a federal government subsidy for the self-employed. With this funding instrument, entrepreneurs should receive support for their personal living expenses. The creative industries benefit from the improvements we have been able to achieve with the Hardship Fund. Until now, support from the hardship fund was possible for up to six months, which could be selected from the period from mid-March to mid-December 2020. The Chamber of Commerce has achieved that support is now guaranteed for twice as many months. Support can be claimed for up to 12 months from the period mid-March 2020 to mid-March 2021. Since 16 March, it has been possible to submit applications for support from the Hardship Fund for the twelfth "Corona Month" (from 16 February to 15 March) via the application form.
Corona relief fund
Sales substitution and fixed costs allowance II
In addition to companies from the catering and hotel industry, since November 2020 also retail companies and service providers close to the body have been receiving sales compensation for the time in which they are not allowed to open. Furthermore, it has been achieved that the fixed cost subsidy for the 2nd phase can already be applied for from 30 % instead of the previous 40 % loss of turnover.
Here you'll find details.
aws bridging guarantee
The aim of the aws bridging guarantee is to facilitate the financing of working capital loans for companies whose sales and earnings development is affected by order cancellations, delivery defaults or other market changes due to the "coronavirus crisis". This includes a 100% guarantee rate for loans up to EUR 500,000 and a 90% guarantee rate for loan amounts up to EUR 27.7 million.
In order to support the Austrian economy in the wake of the Corona crisis, the federal government has designed a new subsidy programme in the form of the aws investment premium, which creates an incentive for corporate investment and thus makes a significant contribution to securing business locations, creating jobs and training places and strengthening the international competitiveness of Austria as a business location. Details can be found here.
Find out how to use the investment premium to finance creative business projects in the review of our webinar ""Marketing, digitalisation or design: creative services for the relaunch of your business. Use the investment premium for financing now!"
Corona short work
Corona short-time work is also an option for companies with few employees: Together with the other social partners, short-time work, which had previously been unattractive for SMEs, was greatly simplified and financially improved within a short time. With the AMS, the processing of short-time work applications was significantly simplified and accelerated. Short-time work is the temporary reduction of normal working hours and pay due to economic difficulties. Its purpose is to temporarily reduce labour costs and to keep employees on the payroll.
Social insurance for self-employed persons (SVS)
Deferrals, payment in instalments, reduction of contribution bases and leniency of interest on arrears are possible. To the SVS info page.
Deferral of taxes and duties
You can apply for a deferral or payment in instalments of the taxes if you have come into an economic emergency or liquidity bottleneck due to the corona virus. The same applies to the chamber levy 1 and chamber levy 2. In addition, you can apply for deferral interest to be reduced to zero. More about the special regulation: WKO.at-Steuerinfo | Info des BMF | direkt zum Antrag
Apprenticeship bonus - up to 3,000 euros for new apprenticeship entrants
Training companies receive an apprenticeship bonus of 2,000 euros for newly admitted apprentices. Micro and small enterprises receive an additional bonus of up to 1,000 euros. Details can be found here.
The new start bonus is eligible for persons who accept a fully insured employment relationship (above the ASVG marginal earnings limit) of at least 20 hours per week, which is lower paid in relation to their employment relationship before unemployment. Freelance employment relationships are not eligible.
WKÖ expert for financing issues
The house bank is your first point of contact in case of liquidity bottlenecks. However, if you are in doubt, you can also contact the competence centre set up specifically for this purpose at the WKÖ: WKÖ expert Dr. Bernhard Egger email@example.com is available to companies for financing questions, especially regarding the pre-financing of short-time work by the banks. The expert acts as a hub between the company and the bank: he determines the right contact person for the respective financing question of the entrepreneur. This ensures that the respective house bank and the customer reach a decision quickly and that the company is helped quickly.
Sector-specific support measures
Art & Culture
Bridging financing for self-employed artists
Bridging funding for self-employed artists can be submitted to the SVS.
The SCSF contributes to the social security contributions of self-employed artists, may pay allowances in special emergencies and collects the levies to raise the necessary funds.
Protective umbrella for event organiser industry
The event industry is one of the main victims of the Corona crisis. In order to provide incentives and security for the future planning of events, the federal government has developed a protective umbrella for events in the amount of 300 million euros. Applications can be submitted to the ÖHT since 18 January 2021.
Reduced tax rate for culture up to and including 31 December 2021. Info here.
Information Service of the Federal Ministry
The Federal Ministry has set up an information service for people working in the arts and culture. Here you will find answers to questions on support measures, relief with social security contributions, accounting for subsidies and more. Click here for the information service.
IG Kultur has compiled a comprehensive list of support and initiatives for artists and cultural workers.
Here you will find an overview of the professional and interest associations for artists.
Film & Audiovisual Media
Comeback grant for film and TV productions
The comeback grant will enable independent film production companies to continue filming cinema and TV productions that have been interrupted or postponed due to COVID-19. On the one hand, productions that have already begun filming and are suffering restrictions due to COVID-19-related measures should still be able to complete the production. On the other hand, productions should be able to start filming despite possible new restrictions in connection with COVID-19.
Details on the eligibility requirements, submission criteria and eligible costs can be found in the special guideline "Comeback Grant for Film and TV Productions" issued by the BMDW together with the BMKÖS. The application deadline has been extended to 30.6.2021: aws Fördermanager.
Literary Mechana Special Fund
For information on the Literary Mechana's Covid 19 Special Fund, click here.
Cultural disaster fund of AKM & austro mechana and OESTIG
The Cultural Disaster Fund of AKM & austro mechana in the amount of 1,000,000 Euros is available to music authors who get into financial difficulties due to significant royalties or loss of fees and thus get into existential problems. It also serves to secure liquidity by providing bridging assistance and loans. The OESTIG Performers' Society will also dedicate its funds, which have yet to be quantified, to securing the existence of performers.
LSG is a joint collecting society of performers and producers of sound recordings and music videos. It administers the rights of around 3,500 labels. Here you can find information on how to apply for production funding.
Corona virus information
On the website of the professional association of the film and music industry you will find all the information for the industry on the new regulation concerning the opening of business activities.
Interest assumption for bridging loans by the province of Styria
In order to be able to maintain the liquidity of Styrian companies, the Province, after an Austrian credit institution has granted a corresponding loan, assumes the interest of a maximum of 2 per cent for bridging loans, for which the Federal Government assumes liability up to an amount of 80 per cent. The interest is assumed for companies from trade, crafts, services and commerce as well as for tourism enterprises. This is intended to provide bridging assistance for companies in conjunction with the Federal Government. The State of Styria is making a total of 42 million euros available for the assumption of interest in business and tourism.
The Styrian Business Promotion Agency SFG handles the interest assumption in cooperation with Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws). Find out more in the SFG's FAQs, which are constantly updated.
SFG subsidies for teleworking jobs
SFG helps Styrian companies to set up home offices.
Province of Styria: cultural funding is adjusted in value and extended by one year
The Styrian provincial government has decided on a package of measures for financial and economic relief for the multi-year support contracts of art and cultural initiatives, associations and institutions.
Our partner, the Creative Industries Styria, also provides you with updates. Have a look at the CIS website and subscribe to their channels to stay up to date.
Our partner, the Creative Region Linz & Upper Austria, also provides you with updates. Check out creativeregion.org and subscribe to their channels to stay up to date.
Find out about current subsidies on the Vienna Business Agency website.
Studio support and working scholarships of the state of Vorarlberg
The expanded studio funding, the studio scholarships and the "Culture in the Now" campaign are direct support accents for Vorarlberg's artists.
Corona Support Fund of the WKB
The Burgenland Chamber of Commerce has initiated its own Corona support fund.