Emergency measures from the government in connection with coronavirus - closing gaps in support for the self-employed

31/03/2020 (14:00)
Press release

The Government has approved payments, from the fund to tackle unemployment, to assist self-employed people who have lost work because of the coronavirus and have so far not been taken into consideration by the Federal Government. Furthermore, the Government has formalized economic measures that had already been passed to mitigate the consequences of coronavirus.

Support for self-employed people who have lost work:
The Federal Council has arranged loss of earnings compensation for self-employed workers whose business was officially ordered to close because of the corona crisis (e.g. hairdressers), who have children under the age of 12 to look after or who are in quarantine for medical reasons. The canton is now arranging financial support for self-employed people who do not meet the Federal Government’s requirements but who can prove that they have also suffered or continue to suffer a noteworthy drop in income because of coronavirus. This concerns all those businesses that have not been ordered to close by the authorities - and whose owners do not have young children to look after - but that are nevertheless faced with a sharp drop in demand. At the forefront are self-employed people from the healthcare professions, but also owner-managed businesses or self-employed taxi drivers. The payments will be taken from the cantonal fund for tackling unemployment. A maximum of 20 million francs is available. In terms of scope and processing, the cantonal benefits will be arranged in a similar way to the loss of earnings compensation from the Federal Government. The Government has enacted a corresponding ordinance. It comes into force on 1 April 2020 and is applicable until 31 May 2020.

Outline agreement with Basler Kantonalbank
The Government has approved the outline agreement with Basler Kantonalbank concerning implementation of the support programme for coronavirus. The Government passed a support programme for Basel-Stadt businesses in connection with the coronavirus on 10 March 2020. It includes bridging loans with state guarantee. For its implementation, the government passed the ordinance on granting of guarantees in connection with the Covid-19 virus on 24 March 2020. (See press release of 24 March 2020, https://coronavirus.bs.ch/en/newsticker-en/24.03.2020-1400-coronavirus-das-untersuetzungsprogramm-fuer-unternehmen-startet-frueher.html). In accordance with this ordinance, the outline agreement that regulates the details of granting the guarantee between the creditor and the canton must be approved by the Government.

Ordinance on support for daycare centres
On 24 March, the Government decided to mitigate the negative economic effects of the fight against coronavirus for daycare centres too (see press release of 24 March 2020 https://coronavirus.bs.ch/en/newsticker-en/24.03.2020-1400-weitere-sofortmassnahmen-im-zusammenhang-mit-dem-coronavirus.html). It has now passed the corresponding ordinance on measures aimed at softening the blow of the economic consequences of the steps taken to tackle coronavirus. Daycare centres will be compensated for the absence of parental contributions – less compensation for third parties, for example for short-time working, and less reduced expenditure on material expenses that are not incurred – at the full amount, for the duration of the extraordinary situation. The support will be approved on application. Advance payments will be made to prevent cash squeezes in the care centres. The ordinance enters into force retrospectively on 16 March 2020 and will be valid until 31 August 2020 at the latest.