Business - The Hamburg Container Port

Business Financial Support for Businesses

Local businesses will receive further financial support from the Hamburg Senate. 

Financial Support for Businesses

Learn how to procure money for supporting your business through the hardships of COVID-19

As of 2 November, 2020

On 27 October, 2020, the city of Hamburg will offer further financial support to local businesses. Following up on the support granted in March to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, further financial assistance will be allocated throughout autumn and winter due to the ongoing public health crisis and its effects on local businesses. 

Taking on a €3 billion loan, the Senate has paved the way for financially supporting Hamburg businesses throughout 2021 and 2022. In addition to the measures taken by the HWSP (Hamburg Programme for Economic Stabilisation), further precautions are underway to combat the economic effects of the coronavirus. Additional funds will be granted over the next two years In addition to the approximately €5 billion that have been allocated thus far. 

Concrete measures include:

  • Providing the Hamburger Wirtschaftsstabilisierungsprogramm (HWSP) with approximately €900 million for economic stimulation
  • Nationwide Überbrückungshilfe (lit. ‘bridging aid’) will be made available, extended until mid 2021 and further strengthened (e.g. for self-employed residents)
  • The Hamburg Stabilisation Fund (HSF) commences will help close the support gap for larger medium-sized businesses with a approximately €1 billion 
  • The Corona Recovery Fund (CRF) has been extended to directly help smaller medium-sized businesses with an increased €800,000 
  • These corona credits issued by Hamburgische Innovations- und Förderbank have been extended in time and volume throughout 2021 
  • The Hamburg Digital Bonus will start in early 2021 to improve digitalisation during the ongoing corona crisis
  • The approximately €4 billion in tax breaks for 2020 have been extended through 2021
  • Financial support for tradespeople has been extended through 2021 
  • Commercial rent relief is possible through deferments and adjustments
  • Reformation of the import sales tax to strengthen Hamburg as a logistics hub 
  • Sustainable transformation of local industry and the economy 
  • Securing Hamburg as the world’s third-largest location for civil aviation
  • Direct help for social and non-profit organisations (up to €800,000 each) 
  • Supporting the cultural landscape with help for venues, promoters and artists

Building blocks include:

Building block 1: the HSF 

Next to existing support funds, the Hamburg Support Fund (HSF) is scheduled to help many medium-sized businesses that have experienced financial straits due to the ongoing pandemic. The HSF targets businesses with 50 to 249 employees and is directed at companies facing bankruptcy. The measure is designed to make an investment in the given business as a last resort - if refinancing in the market is no longer possible. See the HSF website for additional information on how to apply (German only).   

The fund is meant as an additional measure complementing measures already in place. It targets primarily businesses that represent integral parts of the citywide economy, technological sovereignty, the supply chain, critical infrastructure or the labour market. The minimum volume of support is currently stated €800,000 per business. 

Businesses that wish to apply for the fund must meet at least two of the following requirements: 

  • Balance sheet total between €10 million - €43 million 
  • Revenue between €10 - €50 million 
  • Total number of employees between 50 - 249 persons (annual average) 

Please refer to IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH, a subsidiary of Hamburgische Innovations- und Förderbank (IFB). 

Building block 2: Support for smaller medium-sized businesses 

The Corona Recovery Fund (CRF) offers venture capital financing for innovative start-ups and growth-oriented smaller medium-sized businesses suffering from the economic effects of COVID-19 pandemic. The maximum funding per business has been raised from €250,000 to €800,000. A total of €50 million may be distributed. The increased volume allows for a significant boost to the total number of companies that can benefit from the fund. 

Building block 3: Überbrückungshilfe for small and medium-sized businesses

The nationwide Überbrückungshilfe platform can be used for filing financial support requests. The aid programme supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as freelancers and the self-employed (who have been hit particularly hard by pandemic-combat measures) with subsidies in the form of non-repayable grants for fixed operational costs. In particular, funding aims at facilitating outdoor businesses operations (for example, by purchasing outdoor heaters and tents) as well as meeting hygiene standards (disinfectant, ventilation systems, etc). All branches can benefit from the financial aid.  

The Überbrückungshilfe funds are administered by the city of Hamburg. In order to speed up the allocation process, filing for a motion is done via a third party (such as an accountant, auditor or lawyer) already familiar with the company in question. 

In order to reach businesses that have suffered under corona-related restrictions, the following terms apply: 

A business is eligible for funding if: 

- revenue has plummeted by 50% or more in two consecutive months between April and August, 2020 (in relation to the same month of the previous year) or
- if the average revenue was 30% lower between April and August, 2020 (in relation to the same months of the previous year)

Funding is increased to:
- 90% of fixed operating costs if revenue has fallen by more than 70%
- 60% of fixed operating costs if revenue has fallen by between 50% and 70% and
- 40% of fixed operating costs if revenue has plummeted by more than 30%

A fixed rate of 20% for payroll costs is granted.

Final accounts will allow subsequent payments or reclaims.

Building block 4: Culture 

Several different sources of aid have allocated a total of €90 million towards supporting Hamburg’s cultural landscape. Focusing on artists from all across the creative sprectrum, funding is intended to maintain the city’s creative infrastructure through direct financial support. 

So far, amounts have been allocated as follows: 

€8.9 million for 32 private theatres
€1.7 million for 43 music venues 
€1.6 million for 29 outdoor music events
€0.8 million for festivals
€2.1 million for cinemas and film subsidies 
€3.7 million for miscellaneous cultural institutions 

Direct support for artists was provided through the Hamburger Corona Selbsthilfe programme. Around €30 million were provided  to self-employed artists between March and May, 2020. This programme was replaced by the Neustartprämie bonus, which can be requested through the end of 2020. Around €12 million have been allocated thus far. 

Complementary payments include the Gagenfond (lit. ‘fee fund’), Literaturförderung ( literature subsidies) for small print houses and bookstores and the Ausfallfond (lit. ‘cancellation fund’) for film and TV projects. Further subsidies are being developed and implemented. 

Financial Support for Business