Start-ups, scale-ups and other innovative SMEs that are in financial trouble due to the corona crisis can apply again for the Corona Bridging Loan (COL) from today. The scheme has been extended until 30 June 2021 at the latest. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) made a total of 300 million euros available last year. Applications for the COL were initially possible until the end of September 2020. Because after assessment of all applications, more than 35 million euros was still unused, and the economic recovery did not proceed as quickly as expected, the cabinet decided to extend the scheme.
The loans are intended for innovative companies that are in financial difficulties due to the corona crisis and that are predominantly financed with external equity. For example, there should be no financing relationship with a bank. In addition, the COL is open under certain conditions to SMEs who have financed their growth in recent years with internal equity, such as retained earnings. The amount of the loans is between 50,000 euros and 2 million euros. The loans are made available through the eight Regional Development Companies (ROMs). The ROMs assess the applications regionally. A national committee weighs up the applications.