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Factsheet for measure AT-2020-10/215 Updated – measures in Austria

Bank guarantees for SMEs and one-person enterprises

AWS Überbrückungsfinanzierung/garantie fuer EPU/KMU

Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 04 March 2020 – 15 June 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Measure added 31 March 2020 (updated 02 March 2023)

Background information

On 4 March, following consultation of the social partners, the Austrian government announced to support businesses with bank guarantees to stay afloat. The objective is to ease the financing of business credits for companies, whose revenues and profits have been affected due to the stop of orders, deliveries or other changes of the economic environment, as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. A newly simplified and speedy process for the acceptance of these guarantees has been implemented.

Content of measure

The measure is targeted at small and medium sized companies and one person enterprises (less than 250 employees, max. €50 million turnover or €43 million balance sheet sum); operating in all sectors (whereby for tourism, a separate package has been set up, which is administered by a different institution. See related case 'State support for tourism' (AT-2020-10/215). The guarantee supports 80% of a short term 'bridging' loan, the duration of which cannot exceed 5 years.

The company can request this support via their own bank, a decision will be taken by the public support company AWS (Austrian economic service).

As of 7 April 2020, the AWS bridging guarantee was significantly expanded with immediate effect as part of the government's €15 billion aid fund. The immediately implemented innovations include a 100% guarantee rate for loans up to €500,000 and a 90% guarantee rate for loan amounts up to €27.7 million.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

21 February 2022

The extension of the guarantee until 30 June 2022 took effect on 21 February 2022.

15 December 2021

An extension of the bridging guarantee to June 2022 is currently worked on, according to the aws.

15 June 2021

On 15 June 2021, the application period for bridging guarantees has ended; the extension until 15 December 2021 was announced.

19 March 2021

The guarantee was extended to 30 June 2021.

Use of measure

At the end of June 2020, around 14,500 bank guarantees have been approved, in the amount of around €2.5 billion. The majority of approvals were directed towards micro (9,887) and small businesses (3,301), according to the economic ministry.

In the first two years of the pandemic (2020 and 2021), around 21,400 bridging guarantees with a total exposure of around €4.0 billion have been committed.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level



Views and reactions

No info available yet.



Eurofound (2020), Bank guarantees for SMEs and one-person enterprises, measure AT-2020-10/215 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.