Coronavirus emergency aid for companies and the self-employed

updated on 14. April 2020 14 minutes reading time
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In addition to the federal government, the federal states also offer immediate aid and emergency programmes for companies damaged by the coronavirus epidemic.


We try to keep all information up to date. Please understand if this is not always possible due to the continuous flood of news regarding the Coronavirus pandemic.

Status as of 09.04.2020


Federal aid (Hilfen des Bundes)

According to information from the Handelsblatt, the German government has expanded its plans for 2020 with a supplementary budget of around €150 billion due to the coronavirus crisis. Part of the money is to be used for emergency funds for small businesses and self-employed persons amounting to €50 billion. Among other things, operating aid of several thousand euros per company or self-employed person is planned.
Source: Handelsblatt

Overview of all federal measures (in German)

Social protection for small businesses/solo self-employed (Sozialschutz für Kleinunternehmer/Solo-Selbständige)

The basic provision for job seekers according to the Second Book of the Social Security Code (SGB II) – Zweites Buch des Sozialgesetzbuches (SGB II) – secures their livelihood if no prioritised assistance to counteract the economic effects of the Coronavirus crisis is available. It also provides immediate assistance for companies, employees and self-employed persons, including those in the cultural and creative industries.

In order to make these services readily available in a quick and unbureaucratic manner, the access requirements for the next few months will be considerably simplified: the existing assets need not be touched as long as they are not substantial, and the complex asset audit is no longer necessary. It will be ensured that people can stay in their homes and the child supplement for families newly entering the income bracket of the benefit will be temporarily redesigned. Benefits are granted quickly and with a minimum of red tape by the responsible authorities. Find out more here (in German).

Aid package for solo self-employed persons and micro-enterprises (Hilfspaket für Solo-Selbständige und Kleinstunternehmen)

The Federal Government has decided on immediate aid for solo self-employed (Solo-Selbständige) persons and small companies (kleine Unternehmen) in economic difficulties as a result of the Coronavirus epidemic, totalling up to €50 billion in federal funding. The Federal Government will thus provide immediate financial assistance in the form of grants to secure the economic existence of the applicants and to bridge acute liquidity bottlenecks. The funds can be used to pay current operating costs such as rent, loans for operating premises, lease payments and the like.

Micro-enterprises (Kleinstunternehmen) with up to five employees will receive a one-off payment of up to €9,000 for three months. Up to ten employees will receive a one-off payment of up to €15,000 for three months. The emergency aid is also to be passed by the German Bundestag and Bundesrat this week. Information on the application will be provided as soon as possible. Find out more here (in German).

Liquidity support (Liquiditätshilfen)

The Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) will support companies in coping with the corona crisis by facilitating the short-term supply of liquidity to companies. To this end, KfW will use the existing loans and improve the terms and conditions of access to them. Companies, the self-employed and freelancers in the cultural and creative industries will also be able to take advantage of these offers of assistance. Please note that these are not grants.

Companies, the self-employed and freelancers who would like to take advantage of KfW support first contact their principal bank, which then passes on the respective KfW loans.

In addition, KfW will prepare a special programme and introduce it as soon as possible. To this end, the risk assumption for investment funds (exemptions from liability) will be significantly improved and will be up to 80% for operating funds and up to 90% for investments. It should also be possible for enterprises that have temporarily experienced financing difficulties as a result of the crisis (crisis-related increase in risk tolerance) to take advantage of these exemptions. More information here (in German). 



Aid programmes of the federal states (Hilfsprogramme der Bundesländer)

Since every federal state offers its own and very different aid programmes, it is sometimes difficult to maintain an accurate overview. would like to offer you support here. We try to keep all the information up to date. Please understand if this is not always immediately possible due to the continuous flow of information regarding the Coronavirus crisis.

Status as of 27.03.2020


  • Grant for companies, social enterprises and freelancers (Zuschuss für Unternehmen, Sozialunternehmen und Freiberufler)
  • No audit of private assets (see the Wirtschaftsministerium BaWü press release)

Link to the programme: Soforthilfe und Antragsformular

  • Assistance offered by the L-Bank
  • Subsidised loans (Förderkredite)

Link to the programme: Wirtschaftsförderung der L-Bank: Das Programm

  • Guarantees from Bürgschaftsbank (up to €2.5 million)
  • Guarantees from L-Bank (€2.5 million to 5 million)
  • State guarantees (over €5 million)

Link to the programme: Bürgschaften von L-Bank, Bürgschaftsbank und BaWü


  • Aid programme for small businesses and freelancers
  • Emergency aid between €5,000 and €30,000

Link to the programme: Bayrisches Wirtschaftsministerium: Soforthilfe Corona


  • Emergency aid for enterprises and self-employed persons (Soforthilfe für Unternehmen und Selbständige)
  • Emergency Aid Application Guide (Leitfaden zur Beantragung von Soforthilfe)

Link to the programme: Soforthilfe und Unterstützung für Unternehmen und Selbständige in Berlin

  • Bridging loans from Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB)
  • For the first time also available for retail and catering businesses

Link to the programme: Unterstützung der Investitionsbank Berlin


  • Emergency aid programme for SMEs and freelancers (Soforthilfeprogramm für KMU und Freiberufler)
  • Grants between €9,000 and €60,000

Link to the programme: Soforthilfeprogramm des Landes Brandenburg

  • Consolidation and Site Securing Programme
    (Konsolidierungs- und Standortsicherungsprogramm – KoSta)
  • Aid to SMEs and smaller public enterprises (Hilfe für KMU und kleinere staatliche Unternehmen)
  • KoSta exceptionally available for almost all industries

Link to the programme: Konsolidierungs- und Standortsicherungsprogramm der ILB

  • Further assistance for companies with more than 100 employees

Link to the programme: Wirtschaftsförderung Brandenburg (WFBB)


  • Emergency aid of up to €5,000 under the simplified procedure
  • Emergency aid for special needs up to €20,000
  • Liquidity support also for freelancers and small entrepreneurs
  • Better guarantee conditions for entrepreneurs

Link to the programme: Soforthilfe des Landes Bremen


  • Grants as emergency aid (Zuschüsse als Soforthilfe)
  • State guarantees (Landesbürgschaften)

Link to the programme: Soforthilfe Hamburg

  • Loan-based support programmes (Darlehensbasierte Förderprogramme)

Link to the programme: Hilfsprogramm der IFB Hamburg


  • Refund of the special advance payment of value-added tax (Erstattung der Sondervorauszahlung der Umsatzsteuer)

Link to the press release: Finanzminister Hessen

  • Non-repayable subsidy for self-employed persons, freelancers and companies with up to 50 employees (Nicht rückzahlbarer Zuschuss für Selbständige, Freiberufler und Betriebe mit bis zu 50 Mitarbeitern)

Link to the programme: Soforthilfe für Selbständige, Freiberufler und kleine Betriebe

  • Loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (Darlehen für kleine und mittlere Unternehmen)

Link to the programme: Hilfsangebote der WIBank

  • Subordinated loans for small enterprises without standard bank guarantees (Nachrangdarlehen für Kleinunternehmen ohne bankübliche Sicherheiten)

Link to the programme: Kapital für Kleinunternehmen (KfK)

  • Working capital loans for SMEs with up to 250 employees/50 million euros turnover. (Betriebsmittelkredite für KMU bis 250 Mitarbeiter/50 Mio. Euro Umsatz)

Link to the programme: Gründungs- und Wachstumsfinanzierung Hessen (GuW)

  • Guarantees up to €1.25 million (Bürgschaften bis 1,25 Mio. Euro)
  • Express guarantees for loans up to €300,000 (Express-Bürgschaften für Kredite bis 300.000 Euro)

Link to the programme: Bürgschaften über Bürgschaftsbank Hessen

  • State guarantees from €1.25 million (Landesbürgschaften ab 1,25 Mio. Euro)

Link to the programme: Landesbürgschaften


  • Grants for micro-enterprises and freelancers up to € 20,000 (Zuschüsse für Kleinstbetriebe und Freiberufler bis 20.000 Euro)
  • Grants for SMEs up to €200,000

Link to the programme: Soforthilfe Länderförderinstitut


  • Guarantees of up to €2.5 million via Niedersächsische Bürgschaftsbank (Bürgschaften bis zu 2,5 Mio. Euro über Niedersächsische Bürgschaftsbank)
  • Loans for SMEs, freelancers and self-employed persons up to €50,000 (Kredite für KMU, Freiberufler und Solo-Selbstständige bis 50.000 Euro)
  • Grant for solo self-employed persons and small enterprises of up to 49 employees (Zuschuss für Solo-Selbstständige und Kleinunternehmen bis 49 Beschäftigte)

Link to programme: Soforthilfen des Landes Niedersachsen


  • Aid will be granted to SMEs, self-employed and freelancers (Hilfe wird für KMU, Solo-Selbständige und Freiberufler)
  • Grants from €9,000 to €15,000

Link to the programme: Soforthilfen des Landes NRW

  • Liquidity financing of up to €75,000 in the case of a silent partnership (micromezzanine fund/Mikromezzaninfonds) (Liquiditätsfinanzierung bis zu 75.000 Euro bei stiller Beteiligung)
  • Default guarantee to secure loans with your principal bank for up to €2.5 million (Ausfallbürgschaft zur Besicherung von Krediten bei Hausbanken bis zu 2,5 Mio. Euro)
  • Loans up to € 250,000 in express procedure (decision within 3 days after receipt of application)
  • Loans up to €500,000 by silence procedure. Decision in 3 days after submission of all documents. (Kredite bis 500.000 Euro im Umlaufverfahren (Entscheidung in 3 Tagen nach Vorlage aller Unterlagen)
  • Source: Bürgschaftsbank NRW

Link to the programme: Fördermöglichkeiten der Bürgschaftsbank NRW


  • Grants for solo self-employed persons and small enterprises (Zuschüsse für Solo-Selbstständige und Kleinunternehmen)
  • Instant loans for solo self-employed persons and small enterprises (Sofortdarlehen für Solo-Selbstständige und Kleinunternehmen)
  • Loans and guarantees (Darlehen und Bürgschaften)

Link to programme: Corona-Soforthilfe

  • Credit for investments and working capital (Kredit für Investitionen und Betriebsmittel)

Link to programme: KfW-Kredite für Unternehmen


  • Emergency aid programme for small entrepreneurs and self-employed persons (Soforthilfeprogramm für Kleinunternehmer und Solo-Selbständige)
  • €3,000 to €10,000 emergency aid (3.000 bis 10.000 Euro Soforthilfe)

Link to programme: Kleinunternehmer-Soforthilfe


  • Special programme for small businesses and freelancers (Sonderprogramm für Kleinunternehmen und Freiberufler)
  • Interest-free liquidity aid up to €50,000
  • In exceptional cases up to €100,000 (In Ausnahmefällen bis 100.000 Euro)
  • Maximum duration eight years (Laufzeit höchstens acht Jahre)

Link to programme: Soforthilfe-Darlehen


  • Grants for self-employed persons and companies (Zuschüsse für Solo-Selbständige und Unternehmen)
  • Sureties and guarantees (Bürgschaften und Garantien)
  • Deferments (Stundungen)
  • Further liquidity support (Weitere Liquiditätshilfen)

Link to programme: Hilfen für Sachsen-Anhalts Unternehmen


  • Emergency aid for enterprises, micro-enterprises and the self-employed (Soforthilfe für Unternehmen, Kleinstunternehmen und Selbständige)
  • Hotlines for companies (Hotlines für Unternehmen)
  • Offers of the funding institutions (Angebote der Förderinstitute)

Link to programme: Soforthilfe Schleswig-Holstein


  • Grants for companies, self-employed persons and freelancers (Zuschüsse für Unternehmen, Solo-Selbständige und Freiberufler)
  • Consolidation fund for SMEs  (Konsolidierungsfonds für KMU)
  • Guarantees with improved conditions (Bürgschaften mit verbesserten Konditionen)

Link to programme: Soforthilfe Thüringen

Coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing: Information & updates for entrepreneurs in Germany


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