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German govt agrees additional aid for lockdown-hit businesses

·1-min read
German cabinet's weekly meeting in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government has agreed to make available further financial aid for companies hit by lockdown measures during the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and finance ministries said in a joint statement on Thursday.

Among other measures, companies that lost half of their revenue or more for at least three months since November will be eligible for a capital injection, in addition to existing aid measures.

How big an injection a business can receive depends on how many months its revenues were down by at least 50% compared with a year earlier.

A third wave of coronavirus infections linked to a more transmissible variant and a slow vaccination roll-out are complicating efforts to ease lockdown measures in Europe's biggest economy.

Businesses that lost more than 70% of revenues will now be able to receive a reimbursement for 100% of their fixed costs for rent, electricity or heating, up from 90% previously, the ministries said.

The agreement also includes aid for events and travel companies, and extends the possibility of special writedowns on seasonal goods - currently granted to retailers - to manufacturers and wholesalers.

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz last week promised to do whatever was needed to enable Germany to spend its way out of a coronavirus-induced economic slump, as the government backed an extra budget that will lift new borrowing to a record high.

(Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Madeline Chambers)