Germany has pledged loans with no upper limit to businesses


Germany has gone further than any other European country in offering “unlimited loans to businesses.” Germany’s finance minister Olaf Scholz delivered what he called a big “bazooka” to avert a crisis in the Eurozone’s largest economy. Mr Scholz said the government would provide unlimited liquidity assistance to German companies.

The package unveiled on Friday envisages a massive expansion of loans provided by KfW, the state development bank. Companies will also be allowed to defer billions of euros in tax payments. Mr Scholz tsaid there was “no upper limit on the amount of loans KfW can issue”. Peter Altmaier, economy minister, said the measures were “unprecedented in Germany’s postwar history”, calling them the “most comprehensive and effective assistance and guarantees there have ever been in a crisis”.

Officials said they were designed to provide companies with a “protective shield” by vastly increasing access to loans provided by the state bank KfW. The German budget currently guarantees KfW a financial framework of €460bn, but officials said this could now be raised by €93bn, giving the bank more than €550bn in available firepower.

“The terms of KfW loans would be changed so that the federal government assumes more risk, he said, while loan application procedures would be simplified and speeded up. Access to credit guarantees would also be expanded.

“We are making an unlimited pledge, to the smallest businesses, from taxi-drivers, to the creative industries, to really big firms with tens of thousands of workers,” said Mr Altmaier.

The Bundestag also rushed through a law expanding the Kurzarbeit or short-time work scheme, under which companies that put their workers on reduced hours can receive state support.

How does the financial support the Scottish government is pledging to Scottish business compare to other countries?


  • 75% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £69,000 from 1 April 2020
  • £80m fund to provide grants of at least £3,000 to small businesses in sectors facing the worst economic impact of Covid-19
  • 1.6% rates relief for all properties across Scotland, effectively reversing the planned below inflation uplift in the poundage from 1 April 2020
  • Fixed rates relief of up to £5,000 for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 from 1 April 2020

Republic of Ireland

  • A €200m Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland working capital scheme for businesses deemed to be significantly impacted. Loans of up to €1.5m will be made available at reduced rates, with the first €500,000 unsecured.
  • Another €200m package will be made available including a rescue and restructuring scheme through Enterprise Ireland for vulnerable, but viable, firms that need to restructure or transform their business.
  • A credit guarantee scheme is being made available to firms impacted by the coronavirus through major banks, with loans of up to €1m being made available at terms of up to seven years.
  • Sole traders and companies with up to nine employees in need of microfinancing will see the maximum available amount for immediate loans increase from €25,000 to €50,000.
  • A Finance in Focus grant of €7,200 will be available to Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta clients that want to access consultancy support to undertake immediate finance reviews.
  • Local Enterprise Offices in every county will be providing vouchers from €2,500 up to €10,000 – with 50:50 match funding – to support business continuity preparedness, innovation and productivity. 


The Spanish government is currently readying a financial support package for businesses that have been affected. We’ll bring it to you once it’s released.


Category: Editors' Picks, News
Tags: business loans, Germany, Italy, Republic of Ireland, SCOTLAND