On 15 January, the Ministry of Industry and Trade published Call 3 for the COVID – Rent program. Like the previous calls, this case is a continuation of the program offering financial assistance to entrepreneurs whose ability to provide services or conduct business was restricted due to government measures.
The application for compensation under the program can be submitted from 1 February 2021 to 1 April 2021. As was the case with the previous two programs, it will now only be possible to apply for compensation electronically, via the AIS MPO system.
The relevant period for which the aid is provided is from 1 October to 31 December 2020. The amount of aid is 50% of the decisive rent, i.e. the rent paid for the decisive period.
Who is an eligible applicant?
The person entitled to receive support is an entrepreneur (natural or legal person) performing business activities on the basis of Act No. 455/1991 Coll., On Trade Licensing (Trade Licensing Act), as amended, or in a similar manner. During the relevant period, this person used an establishment which is not owned by him, on the basis of a lease agreement. At the same time, the applicant’s tenancy relationship with the given establishment had to be effective before 1 October 2020.
Eligible applicants who achieve a contribution under Call 3 are also those who were subject to a ban on retail business activities in the establishment on the basis of Government Decree No. 1376 of 23 December 2020 and in connection with it to a decrease in income of at least 66%.
Conditions for granting aid
The condition for granting support is the payment of at least 50% of the decisive rent by the applicant before submitting the application for support. The maximum amount of support is CZK 10 million for all establishments of one applicant. For this purpose, the support granted in the individual calls of the COVID – Rent program is not added together.
Please note that the applicant is obliged to check that the compensation limit of the valid Temporary Framework of the European Commission is not exceeded, for which the aids granted in individual COVID – Rent program calls are added up.
Furthermore, it is necessary to fill in the application perfectly and document all the requisites, such as in particular:
- Proof of payment of the usual amount of rent for at least two consecutive months from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2020;
- Proof of payment of part of the relevant rent for the establishment at least in the amount of the required support;
- Affidavit of the landlord proving the existing tenancy;
- Affidavit of the beneficiary that he is an eligible applicant and meets all the conditions of Call 3;
- For applicants whose establishments have not been closed and demonstrate a decrease in sales, an affidavit will be generated in the AIS MPO system confirming this decrease for each establishment stating the amount of sales for the 4th quarter of 2020 and for the 4th quarter of 2019. after 1 October 2019, stating the amount of sales for the 4th quarter of 2020 and for the 3rd quarter of 2020.
Affidavits will be automatically generated in the AIS MPO system.
Changes compared to Call 2 of the COVID – Rent program
The system now offers simplification of filling in the application in the form of data transfer for those applicants who applied for financial compensation through the system in Call 2 of the COVID – Rent program, and this application was processed positively. In this case, the system will automatically offer the applicant the import of data from the already submitted application.
Simplification also comes when submitting affidavits, where an officially certified signature will no longer be required.
The obstacle to the so-called affinity of persons, which applied to Call 2, is also removed. This prevented the application of the application in the event that the tenant and the landlord were close persons, a controlling and controlled person or acting in concert.
Compared to previous versions of the COVID – Rent program, Call 3 also compensates those establishments which, although they may have remained open, are able to demonstrate that their revenue fell by at least 66% compared to the same period in 2019 as a result of government measures related to the coronavirus epidemic.
European Union assistance
The European Commission decided to extend and increase the so-called Temporary Framework for State aid measures until 31 December 2021. The proposal to amend and extend this public support was prompted by a European Commission inquiry into Member States into the use of the Temporary Framework in relation to Member States’ needs.
At the same time, it was decided to expand its scope and increase the drawdown limit, which increased from the original 800,000 Euros to 1,800,000 Euros per company.
It is also possible for companies whose turnover has fallen by at least 30% compared to the same period last year to apply for a state contribution for part of the fixed costs, up to a maximum of EUR 10 million per company.
Call 3 of the COVID – Rent program aims to partially compensate rents for those entrepreneurs who, as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, lost the opportunity to run a business and provide services as a result of government measures. This is another state intervention reducing the effects of the extraordinary epidemiological situation on the business sector.
If you are interested in helping with filling out and submitting the Call 3 of the COVID – Rent program or you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Tereza Pšenčíková, LL.M. – junior lawyer
Mgr. Jakub Málek – partner
3. 2. 2021